by Ann Hedlund
This is who she is at four a.m.
Getting up to wash garden loam off
thirty pounds of Jerusalem artichokes,
Ending up writing - in the moment, finally, now.
Brewing a cup of Rooibos with two used tea bags,
Shaking the half and half to froth. Last night
When he asked, what are you doing tomorrow,
Was that code? At least she didn't hear it as:
What are you doing tonight and afterwards,
and, by the way, tomorrow morning, and the next?
No, the question catapulted into a short-fused
future of transitory tasks, projects, plans.
When asked about tomorrow and tomorrow,
Why not think: but what are we doing now?
Too many onlookers, even well-wishers
To merge into that unintroduced moment,
To acknowledge desire, expand an embrace.
The apparent calm of unconscious; only later
a twitchy sense of perception hitting home.
She wanted to disappear, and so left –
On her own, only once looking back.
What are you doing tomorrow that cannot wait?
Getting up with a restless soul, writing verse.
The perfect prospect in retrospect, but someone
Had to make a move, shift the tense.
She’d already learned not to wait halfway.
This is not art, not poetry, just raw dawning
In aftermath of something else, someone else,
Somewhere else. Not attaining profundity,
Arguments about empathy don't turn on
liberal addictions, but on mundane affairs
of the heart, compelled to kindness.
So what if? Take the unasked invitation.
Say the unsaid. Uncover this moment.
Do the undone.