What the Day Gives by Jeanne Lohmann

Suddenly, sun. Over my shoulder
in the middle of gray November
what I hoped to do comes back,
asking.

Across the street the fiery trees 
hold onto their leaves, 
red and gold in the final months 
of this unfinished year, 
they offer blazing riddles. 

In the frozen fields of my life 
there are no shortcuts to spring, 
but stories of great birds in migration 
carrying small ones on their backs, 
predators flying next to warblers 
they would, in a different season, eat. 

Stunned by the astonishing mix in this uneasy world
that plunges in a single day from despair
to hope and back again, I commend my life
to Ruskin’s difficult duty of delight,
and to that most beautiful form of courage,
to be happy.

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