Poem of the Week, by Denise Levertov

1) Once, a long time ago, I stood at a pay phone in southern Florida, trying desperately to make the person on the other end of the line stay on the line. As I talked, an albino frog jumped from a hiding place onto my clenched hand and stayed there like a blob of putty. 2) Another long time ago, I decided to spend the day at my toddler’s pace. It was one of the longest days of my life –no Hurry up, come on, let’s go— and one of the sweetest. 3) The other day, I started to wash dishes and saw a brown shape in the drain sink. A small lizard, motionless. We scooped him up in a tall glass and released him onto a patch of weedy grass. What these three memories have to do with this poem, I don’t really know –maybe something about each minute the last minute— but they all came into my head when I read it.

Living
– Denise Levertov

The fire in leaf and grass
so green it seems
each summer the last summer.

The wind blowing, the leaves
shivering in the sun,
each day the last day.

A red salamander
so cold and so
easy to catch, dreamily

moves his delicate feet
and long tail. I hold
my hand open for him to go.

Each minute the last minute.

 

For more information on Denise Levertov, please click here.

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