Thursday, October 26, 2017

Poetry Friday: Alone for a Week

My husband has been away for a week, but I have been far from alone.  I've had my son keeping me company, plus lots of friends and hordes of screaming middle schoolers participating in Spirit Week.  Nevertheless, I like this poem about a husband's absence, and especially the second stanza, since after 28 years of marriage, I am not used to sleeping alone.  I remember the very first time we were apart after our marriage, and how I slept in his shirt until he came home again.  I'm looking forward to my husband's return tomorrow, on Poetry Friday, from this particular trip. 

Alone for a Week
by Jane Kenyon
I washed a load of clothes
and hung them out to dry.
Then I went up to town
and busied myself all day.
The sleeve of your best shirt
rose ceremonious
when I drove in; our night-
clothes twined and untwined in
a little gust of wind.

For me it was getting late;
for you, where you were, not.
The harvest moon was full
but sparse clouds made its light
not quite reliable.
The bed on your side seemed
as wide and flat as Kansas;
your pillow plump, cool,
and allegorical. . . .

Brenda has the roundup today.


Jane @ said...

I still can't stand it when my partner goes away on business. After 15 years, an empty bed just doesn't feel right. I do get to keep the entire blanket for a change, though. :-)

SW said...

I'm hurrying home!

Sally Murphy said...

Such a poignant, beautiful poem. I can feel the love you two share from all the way here in Australia!

Donna Smith said...

I was so used to my husband being gone two nights a week, that it seems strange having him around all the time now that he's retired. It's good - I like it better this way.

Kay said...

Lovely poem. Hope your reunion today is a celebration! I do like having my husband around, but sometimes I also enjoy having some time alone. Maybe it comes from when my daughter was young and my husband usually went on a 2+ week fire assignment sometime during the summer. To keep her from worrying, I always planned some fun--and spontaneous--activities for the two of us to share. I am glad when he returns, though!

Tara said...

One of my favorite Jane Kenyon poems - I love that ending.

Linda B said...

It's a sweet and loving poem, Ruth.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

I used to hate when my spouse traveled, leaving me alone with the kids--I could never picture how single parents coped. Now I like opportunties (fewer and farther between) to have the bedroom to myself, and I'm just as happy when she returns! Win win. Nice choice of poem, Ruth!

Mary Lee said...

The empty side, as "wide and flat as Kansas" -- such a perfect description of the hole left in our lives when a loved one is absent. Happy reunion!!

Brenda at FriendlyFairyTales said...

I love that image of the twining nightshirts. They feel as hollow and empty as that wide, flat plain.

Diane Mayr said...

Jane Kenyon wrote so movingly of such everyday things. Her early death was such a loss for us all.

Keri said...

I love Jane Kenyon's poetry. She makes me believe there is a place for poems that are quiet reflections on a simple life.