A poesia de Jane Kenyon

In and out

The dog searches until he finds me 
upstairs, lies down with a clatter 
of elbows, puts his head on my foot.

Sometimes the sound of his breathing 
saves my life -- in and out, in 
and out; a pause, a long sigh. . . . 


A piece of burned meat 
wears my clothes, speaks 
in my voice, dispatches obligations 
haltingly, or not at all.
It is tired of trying 
to be stouthearted, tired 
beyond measure.

We move on to the monoamine 
oxidase inhibitors. Day and night 
I feel as if I had drunk six cups 
of coffee, but the pain stops
abruptly. With the wonder 
and bitterness of someone pardoned 
for a crime she did not commit 
I come back to marriage and friends, 
to pink fringed hollyhocks; come back 
to my desk, books, and chair.


Pharmaceutical wonders are at work 
but I believe only in this moment 
of well-being. Unholy ghost, 
you are certain to come again.

Coarse, mean, you'll put your feet 
on the coffee table, lean back, 
and turn me into someone who can't 
take the trouble to speak; someone 
who can't sleep, or who does nothing 
but sleep; can't read, or call 
for an appointment for help.

There is nothing I can do 
against your coming. 
When I awake, I am still with thee


Elavil, Ludiomil, Doxepin, 
Norpramin, Prozac, Lithium, Xanax, 
Wellbutrin, Parnate, Nardil, Zoloft. 
The coated ones smell sweet or have 
no smell; the powdery ones smell 
like the chemistry lab at school 
that made me hold my breath.

Briefly it enters and briefly speaks

I am the blossom pressed in a book,
found again after two hundred years.

I am the maker, the lover, and the keeper.
When the young girl who starves
sits down to a table
she will sit beside me.

I am food on the prisoner's plate.
I am water rushing to the wellhead, 
filling the pitcher until it spills.

I am the patient gardener
of the dry and weedy garden.
I am the stone step,
the latch, and the working hinge.

I am the heart contracted by joy.

the longest hair, white
before the rest.

I am there in the basket of fruit 
presented to the widow.

I am the musk rose opening 
unattended, the fern on the boggy summit.

I am the one whose love
overcomes you, already with you
when you think to call my name.


I got out of bed
on two strong legs.

It might have been
I ate
cereal, sweet
milk, ripe, flawless
It might
have been otherwise.

I took the dog uphill
to the birch wood.

All morning I did
the work I love.

At noon I lay down
with my mate.
It might
have been otherwise.

We ate dinner together
at a table with silver
It might
have been otherwise.

I slept in a bed
in a room with paintings
on the walls, and
planned another day
just like this day.

But one day, I know,
it will be otherwise.