Today's poem is by Michael Pettit

Afternoon Nap

Imagine. Me, patient. Who was ready
once at once. Hot to trot. She need only

glance my way, or whistle, need do nothing
but breathe and turn away for me to sing

Now! in a hundred tongues. If now is then
then then is now—I need not worry when

love might befall me. Imagination
is a kind of patience. I see children

scatter before their urges here and there,
and see the wreckage left behind, minor

and major: abandoned soldiers, dolls, games,
or a father, bereft, calling their names

at twilight. In the morning he'll find birds
alighting and leaving the feeder, words

he can say over and over to make
the hours pass unmeasured. Patience. Storms break

over our heads, rain sleet snow each in time
and we ride them out. I dream trillium

under this cold white yard, a May flower
the red of dried blood or wine spilled over

the woods I will walk deep in thought, chanting
stalk, leaf, sepal, petal, stamen, pollen.

I'll walk back the same path after I gather
an acorn, birch bark, courage to declare

my best or least vision or condition—
love or lost love or simple exhaustion.

Oh the patience to nap each afternoon!
Lie down, let the world go, old blue balloon.

Let the body speak, sleep its syllable,
dreamy hour of it, the push and pull

of all impatient souls. Imagine. Me.
At peace. Believing. Abiding. Set free.

Copyright © 2006 Michael Pettit All rights reserved
from The Kenyon Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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