Dorianne Laux

Joy
June 29, 2019 Laux Dorianne

JOY

Even when the gods have driven you
from your home, your friends, the tree
you planted brought down by storm,
drought, chain saw, beetles, even

when you’ve been scrubbed
hollow by confusion, loss,
accept joy, those unbidden
moments of surcease–

the quiet unfolding
around your shoulders
like a shawl, the warmth
that doesn’t turn to burning.

When the itch has stopped, the cough,
the throb, the heart’s steady beat
resumed, the barn door

open to the shade, the horse inside
waiting for your touch, apple
in your pocket pocked, riddled

the last to fall, the season
done. As you would accept
air into your lungs, without
thinking, not counting

each breath. As you accepted
the earth the first time you stood
up on it and it held you, how it was

just there, a solid miracle,
gravity something you would
learn about only later
and still be amazed.

Dorianne Laux’s Only As The Day Is Long: New and Selected, is forthcoming from W. W. Norton January, 2019. Her most recent collections are Facts About the Moon and The Book of Men.