Last Things in Particular

Ruby by Lea Lyon

The Almanac of Last Things

From the almanac of last things

I choose the spider lily

for the grace of its brief

blossom, though I myself

fear brevity,

but I choose The Song of Songs

because the flesh

of those pomegranates

has survived

all the frost of dogma.

I choose January with its chill

lessons of patience and despair–and

August, too sun-struck for lessons.

I choose a thimbleful of red wine

to make my heart race,

then another to help me

sleep. From the almanac

of last things I choose you,

as I have done before.

And I choose evening

because the light clinging

to the window

is at its most reflective

just as it is ready

to go out.

Linda Pastan

(from Carnival Evening:

New and Selected Poems 1968-1998)

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