Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Month of Favorite Poetry, Day #12

This poem is commonplace.  A tired, middle-of-the-night reflection.  It's a whole lot of my 3 a.m.'s rewritten.  And for that reason, it's one of my favorites.

by Tove Ditlevsen

I wake despondent
at three o'clock in the morning
in my narrow
dull hair
covered with withered
and blood-red, peeling
nailpolish on my toes
from summer's sandaltime.
Ashtaste in my mouth
tired loins
malicious throbbing
in a tooth.

furniture from the past
will have nothing to do with
the random hands
of new inhabitants.

Old sentences
in the curtains
words the fugitive
when he made his hasty
fragments without
meaning or connection.

Out of step with
the season
entangled as a
ball of yarn the cat
has played with
I stroke its
delicate shoulderblades
that are trembling lightly
in sleep.

No more birds to stalk
no mice to scare.
No way out of memory's
Slowly life is running out
like drops along a drainpipe.

from The Penguin Book of Women Poets, 1978

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