poem – Hoagland 5.5.2022

The Word

by – Tony Hoagland

Down near the bottom

of the crossed-out list

of things you have to do today,

between “green thread”

and “broccoli,” you find

that you have penciled “sunlight.”

Resting on the page, the word

is beautiful. It touches you

as if you had a friend

and sunlight were a present

he had sent from someplace distant

as this morning—to cheer you up,

and to remind you that,

among your duties, pleasure

is a thing

that also needs accomplishing.

Do you remember?

that time and light are kinds

of love, and love

is no less practical

than a coffee grinder

or a safe spare tire?

Tomorrow you may be utterly

without a clue,

but today you get a telegram

from the heart in exile,

proclaiming that the kingdom

still exists,

the king and queen alive,

still speaking to their children,

—to any one among them

who can find the time

to sit out in the sun and listen.

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