Linda Pastan

Imaginary Conversation | In the Orchard
March 15, 2013 Pastan Linda

Imaginary Conversation  

 

You tell me to live each day

as if it were my last.  This is in the kitchen

where before coffee I complain

of the day ahead—that obstacle race

of minutes and hours,

grocery stores and doctors.

 

But why the last?  I ask.  Why not

live each day as if it were the first–

all raw astonishment?   Eve rubbing

her eyes awake that first morning;

the sun coming up

like an ingénue in the East.

 

You grind the coffee

with the small roar of a mind

trying to clear itself.  I set

the table, glance out the window

where dew has baptized every

living surface.

 

 

In the Orchard

 

Why are these old, gnarled trees

so beautiful, while I am merely

old and gnarled?

 

If I had leaves, perhaps, or apples…

if I had bark instead

of this lined skin,

 

maybe the wind would wind itself

around my limbs

in its old sinuous dance.

 

I shall bite into an apple

and swallow the seeds.

I shall come back as a tree.

 

 

 

Linda Pastan was Poet Laureate of Maryland from 1991-1995.  In 2003 she won the Ruth Lilly Prize for lifetime achievement. Her 14th book, Insomnia,  came out in 2015 and A Dog Runs Through It in 2018.