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


How to Start Over

We knew that things were deteriorating.

Gothic houses collapsing, sharks patrolling the lagoons, 

the born-again ministers warning of an immediate conflagration.

All the flights to paradise had been cancelled and even 

pinhole cameras weren’t letting light in.

It got to be so bad we didn’t want to listen to the news anymore,

where all we were doing was gawking at someone else’s trouble.

It wasn’t worth the effort. Where was the satisfaction we longed for?  

We couldn’t sleep so would spend all night watching the full moon’s

beams cement themselves to the silky water and travel for miles 

on the waves.  Someone was rowing along the shore, 

and in the silver light the evergreens were shaking slightly. 

At the edge of the forest the thistles

were attaching themselves to the fur of animals.  

What serendipity to hitch a ride to your future.

Credit


From How to Start Over (Deerbrook Editions, 2019). Copyright © 2019 by Stuart Kestenbaum. Used with permission of the author.

Author


Stuart Kestenbaum

Stuart Kestenbaum is the author of five collections of poems, most recently How to Start Over (Deerbrook Editions, 2019). He was appointed Maine’s poet laureate in 2016. 

Date Published: 2019-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/how-start-over