Instead by Tony Hoagland

The deer they said would be there at dawn
never appeared
but the dawn mist instead.

Always something instead
like the little brown pebble on the porch
that turned out to be a frog.

Things that arrive on their own
like the domed Conestogas of afternoon cloud,
fat as senators from Mississippi.

How there is always a truth, and then underneath that
another somehow
more elusive truth -

All before the pell-mell education of dying
when things will be fast but at the same time slow,
like the loud dripping of a clock.

Instead of the quiet you never noticed
hailstones of rain on the roof,
after which you could hear the wind.

So praise instead;
praise the word instead like a tree trunk
that falls across your path.

Like a bridge that leads
away from your destination.

You had expected to be dead now,
or living in New York.

Mist suspended above the meadow:
pale and gauzy, in rumpled sheets;
where you have come with so much readiness.

-Tony Hoagland

Hi friends-
I'm a resident artist at the James Washington Foundation this month, which means less blogging and more artmaking.  I plan to get back to blogging regularly sometime in October or November.
Thanks for reading!  Happy Autumn.