With a new book coming out -- and about 30 poems to retire from my send-out notebook -- it seems a good time to retire some other poems as well. 

I wrote this poem toward the beginning of my one-bad-poem years, in 2005. I've always been fond of it, but it's gone out a kajillion times (well, 12 or so times) and no one has ever begged to publish it. So, enough's enough and I'm publishing it here. 

I've always loved mornings best, and fresh beginnings, and this poem dwells on such small things. 



If death is what makes

life precious, will we in heaven

stop loving so

what we no longer fear losing? 

When life stops

being a miracle,

will the bloody brilliance

of a beating heart

no longer astound us?

In heaven will we savor

the taste of strawberries,

the scent of coffee,

the slap of wet sheets

on a clothesline?

Will sleep, that small death,

still be allowed us, or will 

waking, constant,

irrevocable, gild nothing,

no morning clamor 

of crows, no dew?

Will the newborn's curled fingers

and yawn be lost to us?

When we fall, what stains us

if not the death of the grass?

Wearing that white robe,

won't the thought of your knees,

unbruised, unbleeding,

make you long for the earth

in all its flawed beauty? 

                --Bethany Reid (2005)

For news of my new book, THE PEAR TREE, 2023 Sally Albiso Poetry Award winner, watch my main blog, https://www.bethanyareid.com/