Poem by Billy Collins

Why do we bother with the rest of of the day,

the swale of the afternoon,

the sudden dip into evening,

then night with his notorious perfumes,

his many-pointed stars?

This is the best —

throwing off the light covers,

feet on the cold floor,

and buzzing around the house on espresso — 

maybe a splash of water on the face,

a palmful of vitamins —

but mostly buzzing around the house on espresso,

dictionary and atlas open on the rug,

the typewriter waiting for the key of the head,

a cello on the radio,

and, if necessary, the windows — 

trees fifty, a hundred years old

out there,

heavy clouds on the way

and the lawn steaming like a horse

in the early morning.


Billy Collins served as U.S. Poet Laureate from 2001-2003.


Photo: Holly Garner-Jackson, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED