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Absences

 

More than advantages itís absences

we should acknowledge, being most in debt

to whatís unhappened for our happiness.

How easy, though, to let

 

what could have been lie in oblivion:

The wayward lymph, for instance, spurred to course

helter-skelter, reckless as a Hun

scouring west, his horse

 

hoared with foam. Who thinks to thank a fever

passing by uncaught; the pretty mole,

round and innocent on the skin, that never

burrows beyond control;

 

the lottery that lets the horsemen turn

their horsesí heads and, riding off, forbear

to run us down; the die we donít discern,

unrolled; the stars that spare

 

us their disasters?  Not for what they give;

what they withhold, what isnít, what therefore

remains as unknown as a negative

unproved.  No, we ignore

 

the mercy of the lump that isnít there:

Make us alive to what does not existó

our sufferance to live so unaware

of all that we have missed.

 

Deborah Warren

 

 

(c) 2000; originally printed in the Cumberland Poetry
Review.
  Reprinted by permission of the author.

Background by
Savanna


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