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


Alcove

Is it possible that spring could be
once more approaching? We forget each time
what a mindless business it is, porous like sleep,
adrift on the horizon, refusing to take sides, "mugwump
of the final hour," lest an agenda—horrors!—be imputed to it,
and the whole point of its being spring collapse
like a hole dug in sand. It's breathy, though,
you have to say that for it.
And should further seasons coagulate
into years, like spilled, dried paint, why,
who's to say we weren't provident? We indeed
looked out for others as though they mattered, and they,
catching the spirit, came home with us, spent the night
in an alcove from which their breathing could be heard clearly.
But it's not over yet. Terrible incidents happen
daily. That's how we get around obstacles.

Credit


From Planisphere by John Ashbery. Copyright © 2010 by John Ashbery. Used by permission of Ecco/HarperCollins. All rights reserved.

Author


John Ashbery

John Ashbery was born in Rochester, New York, on July 28, 1927.

Date Published: 2010-01-01

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