Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Coming to That

"If it comes to that," he said, "there'll be no
preventing it."
He uttered it as I listened. Had I got it right,
hearing him?
"If it comes to that," is what he said, and,
as if talking
to himself, went on about how there'd be no
preventing it.
He came to that conclusion, saying it in a
slow way of
coming to that, whatever that was it might
come to before
not being prevented—and as if such a thing
were for him
the unthinkable, and would prevail, if it
came to that.

And while listening more closely now to
what he said,
I realized if no one paid him heed, it would
be as if he
hadn't said it—if it came to that— and would
then not be 
prevented from falling to forces known to 
care little for
what he said, even if they heard it, their
being wily
and forceful enough to make sure it would
come to that.

Credit


From Coming to That by Dorothea Tanning. Copyright © 2011 by Dorothea Tanning. Used with permission of Graywolf Press. All rights reserved.

Author


Dorothea Tanning

Dorothea Tanning's collections of poetry include Coming to That (Graywolf, 2011) and A Table of Content (2004)

Date Published: 2011-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/coming