…to read two poems from Jorie Graham’s stunning collection, Place (Ecco, 2012), while I drank my coffee in bed. They are dense poems, scary in their intensity, and this morning a phrase entered my heart, made me shake while I continued reading. It was from the poem “The Bird That Begins It”:
What is the job today my being
tell me my job.
I thought of all the mornings when I woke, never asking. And I thought of what I loved — the moments in light, winter or summer, firelight, sunlight, the soft light of an oil-lamp when the power went out and we read anyway, our books held close to the flame. I remembered our small fires on White Pine Island, cooking over them, our boat bumping against the rocks, and look, there’s Lily (dead nearly 20 years) heading down to the water.