Friday, April 25, 2008

Slowly by Donna Masini

This morning ... the birds are chirping and singing outside ... my cats are exploring my disneyland home (for them; for me it's messy and an eyesore) ... they come over and sniff me to see if anything is different (or is it to gage my mood? or to put me in my place "you're just a thing with smells like everything else") ... I drank my tea. No part of my body is screaming for attention. Life is good in this moment. I haven't read the news yet.

I just read a poem that I must share ... it's from a collection called 180 more Extraordinary Poems For Every Day edited by Billy Collins (one of my very favorite poets). And many of the poems are really good ... I think this one is extraordinary ... it took my breath away at the end. Animal lovers, please try to make it through ... it's worth it. It's such a good poem.


I watched a snake once, swallow a rabbit.
Fourth grade, the reptile zoo
the rabbit stiff, nose in, bits of litter stuck to its fur,

its head clenched in the wide
jaws of the snake, the snake
sucking it down its long throat.

All throat that snake--I couldn't tell
where the throat ended, the body
began. I remember the glass

case, the way that snake
took its time (all the girls, groaning, shrieking
but weren't we amazed, fascinated,

saying we couldn't look, but looking, weren't we
held there, weren't we
imagining--what were we imagining?).

Mrs. Peterson urged us to move on girls,
but we couldn't move. It was like
watching a fern unfurl, a minute

hand move across a clock. I didn't know why
the snake didn't choke, the rabbit never
moved, how the jaws kept opening

wider, sucking it down, just so
I am taking this in, slowly,
taking it into my body:

this grief. How slow
the body is to realize.
You are never coming back.

-- Donna Masini

Oh, if I could write like that!!! Really, it took my breath away.

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