Posted by: poet kate hutchinson | July 25, 2012

Slow Days, Small Joys

Life’s been moving slowly for the past two weeks.  Finally!  It’s what I love best about July — that beautiful month in the middle of summer break when I allow myself to disconnect entirely from school and the incessant grind, alarm clock, obligations.  I tune out from the news for hours at a time and spend entire days without getting in the car.

Long walks, leisurely hours reading, time with my son listening to books on tape or playing board games… my life can be so calm and sane in July!  I wish for everyone — not just teachers — a month of peace and calm in mid-summer.  Somehow they’re able to do this in Europe… Why can’t we figure it out here?

Here is a contemporary sonnet honoring the zen axiom:  Don’t just do something — sit there!   It’s nothing spectacular.  But that’s the whole point.


Spare Me

Let me have small joys if it will

guarantee small pain:  a goldfinch

in the hedgerow, a chocolate drop

on my tongue, just enough in the bank.

No dazzling flash of sunlight, please.

No best-selling book, no near-death climb

to an Alpine peak or swashbuckling kiss

on the deck of a cruise ship at dusk.

Let my last day on the job end quietly,

a few moments to clean out my desk.

Spare me Mr. Holland’s opus, the crowd

applauding wildly in the auditorium.

And in the end, a garden in the warm dark

where I may cast off my pearls, one by one.

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