My friend Lisa is not feeling well.
In a world where it seems to me that undeserved praise, unwarranted ease, slippery self-justification, and special pleading are - and perhaps always have been - the rule rather than the exception, I have always found that Lisa is that rare person who seldom takes the easy path paved with excuses. She is a quality compounded of wit, knowledge, grace and beauty that makes Woman, a certain breed of woman, the crowning achievement of Creation. One that use hairy, less-evolved types would do well to simply admire in seemly silence.
I hope she feels better soon, because, like the sunrise on the ocean or the dawn chorus heard at the edge of the dark forest, she lightens a world which is a grayer and drabber place without her moving through it with lightness and verve.
And for her convalesence, a poem.
TWILIGHT: AFTER HAYING
Yes, long shadows go out
from the bales; and yes, the soul
must part from the body:
what else could it do?
The men sprawl near the baler,
too tired to leave the field.
They talk and smoke,
and the tips of their cigarettes
blaze like small roses
in the night air. (It arrived
and settled among them
before they were aware.)
The moon comes
to count the bales,
and the dispossessed—
—sings from the dusty stubble.
These things happen . . . the soul’s bliss
and suffering are bound together
like the grasses. . . .
The last, sweet exhalations
of timothy and vetch
go out with the song of the bird;
the ravaged field
grows wet with dew.
Hope you're feeling more the thing soon, Lisa. Probae esti in segetem sunt deteriorem datae fruges, tamen ipsae suaptae enitent.