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


Otherwise

I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.
At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.

Credit


Jane Kenyon, "Otherwise," from Collected Poems. Copyright © 2005 by the Estate of Jane Kenyon. Reprinted with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Graywolf Press, graywolfpress.org.

Author


Jane Kenyon

Jane Kenyon was born on May 23, 1947, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is the author of four books of poetry, including Constance (Graywolf Press, 1993). The recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, Kenyon died on April 22, 1995.

Date Published: 2005-01-01

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