Ardor by Donald Hall (Poem #1)


Nursing her I felt alive
in the animal moment,
scenting the predator.
Her death was the worst thing
that could happen,
and caring for her was best.
After she died I screamed,
upsetting the depressed dog.
Now I no longer
dress the wall covered
with many photographs,
nor call her “you”
in a poem. She recedes
into granite museum
of Jane Kenyon 1947-1995
I long for the absent
woman of different faces
who makes
and chops onion, drinking
a glass of Chardonnay,
oiling the wok, humming
to herself, maybe thinking
how to conclude a poem.
When I make love now,
something awry.
Last autumn a woman said,
“I mistrust your ardor.”
This winter in Florida
I loathed the old couples
my age who promenaded
in their slack flesh holding hands. I gazed
at young women with outrage
and desire – unable to love
or to work, or to die.
Hours are slow and weeks rapid in their vacancy.
Each day lapses as I recite
my complaints. Lust is grief
that has turned over in bed
to look the other way.

One thought on “Ardor by Donald Hall (Poem #1)

  1. Pingback: Ready to begin again | About Last Night

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