Today's poem is by Kathleen Lynch

The Hard Season

Rain-glutted, the stream
splays to the base
of the retaining wall.

Good. Now you have reason
to pray. Of all the birds
watching from winter-stripped

trees, vultures
are kindest, killing
nothing. This is a true

measure of things.
Don't hold back now, have
chocolate, throw extra

kindling on, even though
skies urge cover & hoarding.
When mice pitter in

for crumbs, compliment
their small feet and fitting
ways. When your mouth

houses a curse, swallow,
think how you once
had no words at all

yet managed
your hungers. Everything
that comes, passes.

Everything that passes
rakes its fingers through
and passes.

from Kathleen Lynch Greatest Hits: 1985-2001
Pudding House Publications
"The Hard Season" first appeared in Poetry
Copyright © 2000 by The Modern Poetry Association
Reprinted by Verse Daily by permission of the Editor of Poetry

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