Today, a poem
It rained last night, finally. This morning is overcast and boggy and dripping, a good day for a poem. This is one of Laura Gilpin’s best-known poems from her first book, The Hocus Pocus of the Universe (1976). Laura Crafton Gilpin* (1950-2007) was a poet, nurse, and passionate advocate for patients rights. (*Not to be confused with Laura Gilpin the American landscape photographer who was well-known for her images of Native Americans, particularly Pueblo and Navajo. She died in Santa Fe in 1979.) According to her NY Times obituary, “Laura’s indomitable spirit, her kindness, her droll humor, her brilliant intellect and her love of celebrations are legendary.” Sounds like someone I’d like to know, maybe I’ll look for a biography. In the meantime, here is “The Two Headed Calf” which always makes me cry, for some reason:
The Two-Headed Calf
Tomorrow when the farm boys find this
freak of nature, they will wrap his body
in newspaper and carry him to the museum.
But tonight he is alive and in the north
field with his mother. It is a perfect
summer evening: the moon rising over
the orchard, the wind in the grass. And
as he stares into the sky, there are
twice as many stars as usual.