Peace can be found in the ordinary


The Ordinary

It may happen on a day
of ordinary weather—
the usual assembled flowers,
or fallen leaves
disheveling the grass.
You may be feeding the dog,
or sipping a cup of tea,
and then: the telegram;
or the phone call;
or the sharp pain traveling
the length of your
left arm, or his.
And as your life is switched
to a different track
(the landscape
through grimy windows
almost the same though
entirely different) you wonder
why the wind doesn’t
rage and blow as it does
so convincingly
in Lear for instance.
It is pathetic fallacy
you long for—the roses
nothing but their thorns,
the downed leaves
subjects for a body count.
And as you lie in bed
like an effigy of yourself,
it is the ordinary
that comes to save you—
the china teacup waiting
to be washed, the old dog
whining to go out.

Linda Pastan

(photo Rose Cook)