Friday, May 1, 2009

Poetry Friday: "[Over a cup of coffee]"

This week, I had the thrill of watching immensely good things bloom for someone who has spent years working very quietly, very diligently, and very determinedly to secure a dream. I have a feeling she hasn't seen her last Very Good Week yet, either, and that many more well-deserved, shiny moments await her. But as I watched things unfold from the sidelines, it struck me how powerful it is to be an observer in the lives of others--to witness people's turning points, whether big or small--the moments in which they "become" in a new way, the moments in which they change, irrevocably. The sheer power of such transformative moments has everything to do with why writers write, I think. And I suspect it has something to do with how we come to understand ourselves, too, and our own arrivals into "uncharted lands," just as Stephen Dobyns quietly, elegantly ponders here:

"[Over a cup of coffee]"

by Stephen Dobyns

Over a cup of coffee or sitting on a park bench or
walking the dog, he would recall some incident
from his youth—nothing significant—climbing a tree
in his backyard, waiting in left field for a batter's
swing, sitting in a parked car with a girl whose face
he no longer remembered, his hand on her breast
and his body electric; memories to look at with
curiosity, the harmless behavior of a stranger, with
nothing to regret or elicit particular joy. And
although he had no sense of being on a journey,
such memories made him realize how far he had
traveled, which, in turn, made him ask how he
would look back on the person he was now, this
person who seemed so substantial. These images, it
was like looking at a book of old photographs,
recognizing a forehead, the narrow chin, and
perhaps recalling the story of an older second
cousin, how he had left long ago to try his luck in
Argentina or Australia. And he saw that he was
becoming like such a person, that the day might
arrive when he would look back on his present self
as on a distant relative who had drifted off into
uncharted lands.


  1. OK, I hope you don't mind this comment, but I just found the link to your blog, and this post....... oh! :)

    If you're talking about the person I'm thinking of, I happen to know she had some AMAZING and INCREDIBLE help, and she is here feeling very emotional right now and very grateful.

    Have a wonderful weekend, Molly.

  2. Look, Molly! You have a blog, did you know?

    This post is an awesome example of why everyone is clamoring to work with you. You're not only cool, but you're supportive, enthusiastic, and just plain NICE. We need more people like you!