Friday, May 14, 2004

My mom sent me this poem and I love it so much that I want to include it here.

The Modernist Impulse
On My Birthday

Has it ever been absent, this desire
for every moment to stand in relief,
the unending row of them set
like solitaires into what passes,
burnished to unbearable depths?

The park here is going green and all at once
its expanse is a moment of its own great making,
a flare in the midst of so much shattered.
The trees are certain their time has come.

I have never once been able to say yes,
now, this is the instant in which
I should begin to live again,
in which this love is the only love
worth having, the richest of all possible shining arts
to hold forth: Here,
I was here and I knew it.

In this neighborhood the slate
sidewalk piles up on itself all winter,
as it has for hundreds of winters,
cracked by the cold and heaving
into crazed shelter for the dirt below.

I roll back the stone from my life.
Oh my near-miss, return to me
now when I need you most. Come
and tell me that ages pass, that effort
is rewarded at the very least after we die.
I loved you as well as this sweet green park
coming into focus across the street,
all in delicate arrogance.

-- Melanie Rehak


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