Plain Truths, by Carol McMahon
(with a line from Jane Kenyon)
Jane, there are days I want to shout
that like you, I too have found
the gray hair in the wash bucket
and the drop of dried gravy on the boat lip.
My man’s shirt tail, as well, is lucky
tucked as it is, into his pants waist.
Modern ears are stoppered
to the whispers of daily delights
and miseries. The agenda of every day
is not enough. The wash line is not flag
enough to raise. The bird at the feeder,
the rippled pond, the thrum in the chest,
none of these enough.
From you, I learned there is no need
to clash cymbals and rattle bars.
On a good day we can hear
the rustling step of others.
I have heard yours—for me
that is more than enough.
It might have been otherwise.
Poet's note: "In 'Plains Truths,' images were taken from the poetry of Jane Kenyon, including a line from her poem, 'Otherwise.'
Editor's Note: This poem was inspired by the poetry of Jane Kenyon, not by the image shown, which was an editorial decision.
Carol McMahon is a teacher and poet who has been published in various journals (Prodigal, IthacaLit, Unlost Journal, The Wild Word, Blue Collar Review) and has a chapbook, On Any Given Day, published by FootHills Press. McMahon received an MFA in Poetry from the Rainier Writing Workshop in Washington State and when not teaching, reading or writing can be found out trail-running or on the water rowing.
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