Thursday, February 15, 2007

Post-Valentine's Poem

Listening last night to a love-themed podcast from The Poetry Foundation (in honor of Valentine's Day) entitled "Romantic or Plain Erotic" (available here in mp3) and I heard this poem, by Tony Hoagland. Recent readers of BillyBlog will understand why it resonated so much:


by Tony Hoagland

She goes out to hang the windchime
in her nightie and her work boots.
It’s six-thirty in the morning
and she’s standing on the plastic ice chest
tiptoe to reach the crossbeam of the porch,

windchime in her left hand,
hammer in her right, the nail
gripped tight between her teeth
but nothing happens next because
she’s trying to figure out
how to switch #1 with #3.

She must have been standing in the kitchen,
coffee in her hand, asleep,
when she heard it—the wind blowing
through the sound the windchime
wasn’t making
because it wasn’t there.

No one, including me, especially anymore believes
till death do us part,
but I can see what I would miss in leaving—
the way her ankles go into the work boots
as she stands upon the ice chest;
the problem scrunched into her forehead;
the little kissable mouth
with the nail in it.

“Windchime” copyright �© 2003 by Tony Hoagland. Reprinted from What Narcissism Means to Me with the permission of Graywolf Press, Saint Paul, Minnesota. All rights reserved.

Source: What Narcissism Means to Me (Graywolf Press, 2003).

I couldn't help myself. That set of lines:

the wind blowing
through the sound the windchime
wasn’t making
because it wasn’t there

still haunts me. I have not forgotten.


Anonymous said...

Resonated with me too, I forwarded this to my sig. other to remind us to love more through a rough time we're having now

Thank you for sharing this

Anonymous said...

What does that line mean?