donald hall

Donald Hall, poet, was husband and muse to Jane Kenyon.  While Donald has survived multiple bouts with cancer, sadly, Jane died, more than a decade ago, at the age of 47 of leukemia.

Letter With No Address
Your daffodils rose up
and collapsed in their yellow
bodies on the hillside
garden above the bricks
you laid out in sand, squatting
with pants pegged and face
masked like a beekeeper's
against the black flies.
Buttercups circle the planks
of the old wellhead
this May while your silken
gardener's body withers or moulds
in the Proctor graveyard.
I drive and talk to you crying
and come back to this house
to talk to your photographs.

At five A.M., when I walk outside,
mist lies thick on hayfields.
By eight the air is clear,
cool, sunny with the pale yellow
light of mid-May. Kearsarge
rises huge and distinct,
each birch and balsam visible.
To the west the waters
of Eagle Pond waver
and flash through popples just
leafing out.

Always the weather,
writing its book of the world,
returns you to me. Ordinary days were best,
when we worked over poems
in our separate rooms.
I remember watching you gaze
out the January window
into the garden of snow
and ice, your face rapt
as you imagined burgundy lilies.

Your presence in this house
is almost as enormous
and painful as your absence.

~ by Donald Hall
from Without 



goatman said...

She is with the weather and the nature now. Everywhere around . . .
That ending smacks me in the face.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

Hard to read without getting a lump in the throat.

Lee said...

Beautiful...very, very emotive...

red dirt girl said...

Yes, that last stanza slays me ...!