When you appeared it was as if
magnets cleared the air.
I had never seen that smile before
or your hair, flying silver. Someone
waving goodbye, she was silver, too.
Of course you didn’t see me.
I called softly so you could choose
not to answer—then called again.
You turned in the light, your eyes
seeking your name.
"Happenstance." Copyright © 1989 by Rita Dove, from Collected Poems: 1974-2004 by Rita Dove. Used by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
The author of numerous collections of poetry, Rita Dove served as the US Poet Laureate from 1993 to 1995 and as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2005 to 2011.
Date Published: 2016-05-03
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/happenstance