The Life of a Day

A prose poem by Tom Hennen, whose book Crawling out the Window is sadly out of print, but whose poem appears on several other web pages and in Garrison Keillor’s Good Poetry:

Like people or dogs, each day is unique and has its own personality quirks which can easily be seen if you look closely. But there are so few days as compared to people, not to mention dogs, that it would be surprising if a day were not a hundred times more interesting than most people. But usually they just pass, mostly unnoticed, unless they are wildly nice, like autumn ones full of red maple trees and hazy sunlight, or if they are grimly awful ones in a winter blizzard that kills the lost traveler and bunches of cattle. For some reason we like to see days pass, even though most of us claim we don’t want to reach our last one for a long time. We examine each day before us with barely a glance and say, no, this isn’t one I’ve been looking for, and wait in a bored sort of way for the next, when we are convinced, our lives will start for real. Meanwhile, this day is going by perfectly well-adjusted, as some days are, with the right amounts of sunlight and shade, and a light breeze scented with a perfume made from the mixture of fallen apples, corn stubble, dry oak leaves, and the faint odor of last night’s meandering skunk.

PatrickQuotes08/09/04 1 comments


AJ • 11/07/05 7:43 PM:

A magnificent observation, and well written. I like the feel of it, besides the message. It’s funny and serious, and mocking and instructing all at once.

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