Elaine Feinstein

Getting older

The first surprise: I like it.

Whatever happens now, some things

that used to terrify have not:


I didn’t die young, for instance. Or lose

my only love. My three children

never had to run away from anyone.


Don’t tell me this gratitude is complacent.

We all approach the edge of the same blackness

which for me is silent.


Knowing as much sharpens

my delight in January freesia,

hot coffee, winter sunlight. So we say


as we lie close on some gentle occasion:

every day won from such

darkness is a celebration.


Source: Selected Poems (Carcanet)


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