Canadian Poetry Online top banner link to Canadian Poetry Online home page link to University of Toronto Libraries home page

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

Alison Pick



"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"   — Mary Oliver

I come to the desk in my flannel pajamas, carrying a cup of black coffee. Print the last page, make some corrections. It's cold, and the thermostat cranky. Put on a sweater, then take it off. Out in the field, nothing needs changing: the field goes about the business of dying with perfect belief in the spring. Last night

it snowed but this morning it sticks, coats the gravel driveway, the road, in a ribbon of white all the way to the lake. Michael has written, saying he doesn't believe the divine intervention thing. Neither do I. But somehow the field is focused in frost, somehow the stars go out and come back. Somehow the moon spins on its axis, opens and closes its mouth without making a sound. Now my lover comes into

the room, wearing long-underwear, sleep in his hair. He puts on the Schubert. We drink our coffee in front of the window, fat flakes of snow falling into the water. This and each morning we try not to speak. Soon I will put my sweater back on, move to the desk. This space, this silence, someone who loves me: over the field the clouds shift their shadows. When the last change is made I will sit by the blank paper, listening.


Alison Pick's works copyright © to the author.


Canadian Poetry Online bottom banner link to University of Toronto Libraries home page link to Digital Collections home page link to University of Toronto Library catalogue link to Canadian Poetry Online home page link to University of Toronto Libraries home page