“The Muse of  Happiness”

 

The windows shut, the sun rising.
Sounds of a few birds;
the garden filmed with a light moisture.
And the insecurity of great hope
suddenly gone.
And the heart still alert.

And a thousand small hopes stirring,
not new but newly acknowledged.
Affection, dinner with friends.
And the structure of certain
adult tasks.

The house clean, silent.
The trash not needing to be taken out.

It is a kingdom, not an act of imagination:
and still very early,
the white buds of the penstemon open.

Is it possible we have finally paid
bitterly enough?
That sacrifice is not to be required,
that anxiety and terror have been judged sufficient?

A squirrel racing along the telephone wire,
a crust of bread in its mouth.

And darkness delayed by the season.
So that it seems
part of a great gift
not to be feared any longer.

The day unfurling, but very gradually, a solitude
not to be feared, the changes–
faint, barely perceived–
the penstemon open.
The likelihood
of seeing it through to the end.

 

–Louise Gluck

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