-Raymond Carver, "This Morning"
This morning was something.
A little snow
lay on the ground.
The sun floated in a clear
The sea was blue, and blue-green,
as far as the eye could see.
Scarcely a ripple.
I dressed and went
for a walk -- determined not to return
until I took in what Nature had to offer.
I passed close to some old, bent-over trees.
Crossed a field strewn with rocks
where snow had drifted.
until I reached the bluff.
Where I gazed at the sea, and the sky, and
the gulls wheeling over the white beach
All bathed in a pure
But, as usual, my thoughts
began to wander.
I had to will
myself to see what I was seeing
and nothing else.
I had to tell myself this is what
mattered, not the other.
(And I did see it,
for a minute or two!) For a minute or two
it crowded out the usual musings on
what was right, and what was wrong -- duty,
tender memories, thoughts of death, how I should treat
with my former wife.
All the things
I hoped would go away this morning.
The stuff I live with every day.
I've trampled on in order to stay alive.
But for a minute or two I did forget
myself and everything else.
I know I did.
For when I turned back i didn't know
where I was.
Until some birds rose up
from the gnarled trees.
in the direction I needed to be going.