It is too early to take a nap.
His daily trip to town
put off for now,
he must wait for someone
to clear the walk to the car.
The book on his lap is open
to a poem by Robert Frost,
“The Lesson for Today.”
The lesson, he liked to say,
was that some poets
know too much for their
own good. Mr. Frost for
instance, was said to have
gone away in sourness.
Perhaps he felt he had lost
the quarrel, or it was no
longer worth the arguing.
The old man wags his finger
to the empty air, thinks
of his wife and how his life
has flagged since she died.
Outside the sparrows and jays
are after what’s left of last week’s
seed. Their lives too have fallen
into agitated sorrow, there are
no songs or seeds in the yard
or words in the book to bring
on anything more. He begins to drift,
fingering pages, wondering if it is
after all just a lover’s quarrel.
*Robert Frost’s The Lesson for Today,
“I had a lover’s quarrel with the world”
After reading February Morning by Hayden Carruth