After Reading Kobayashi Issa’s The Spring of My Life On My 49th Birthday
On a dull December day it’s never noon
more briefly, though what a relief
to look around and realize our lies, in the long run,
won’t last long.
I feel like the nail
holding up someone else’s painting.
My thoughts are the loose thing
in the dishwasher only I can hear.
When I say, Snow, what will become of this world?
it says, I was not taught future tense.
Through the window,
after the heavy storm, I can follow mysterious
paw prints to the spot along the fence
where, in summer, the neighbors like to whisper.
They’ve taken their secrets inside.
It’s left a silence so complete, so free
of ambition, it feels possible to know forgiveness,
which hammered thinner than memory
carries a brighter light.
Copyright © 2021 by Dobby Gibson. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 21, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.