Things could be otherwise

File:Legs (2914966343).jpg

A day when I am aware of the gift of life.

This poem was written by Jane Kenyon shortly before she died of leukemia at age 47, aware that things would soon change for her.

I got out of bed
on two strong legs.
It might have been
otherwise. I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
peach. It might
have been otherwise.
I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.
All morning I did
the work I love.

At noon I lay down
with my mate. It might
have been otherwise.
We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
candlesticks. It might
have been otherwise.
I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.
But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.

Jane Kenyon, Otherwise

photo harald hoyer

2 thoughts on “Things could be otherwise

  1. Such a poignant reminder to be mindful in the moment, because the moments are gone as soon as we apprehend them. Your preface reminds us that death awaits us all, that as alive as we are today, one day, sooner or later, it will be otherwise.

    1. Thank you for your comments. The reminder of our need to appreciate what we have is all the more forceful with the details of the poets life. Thank you for following and your encouragement by writing, Karl

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