Over and Over Stitch

By Jorie Graham b. 1950 Jorie Graham
Late in the season the world digs in, the fat blossoms
hold still for just a moment longer.   
Nothing looks satisfied,
but there is no real reason to move on much further:
this isn’t a bad place;   
why not pretend

we wished for it?
The bushes have learned to live with their haunches.   
The hydrangea is resigned
to its pale and inconclusive utterances.
Towards the end of the season
it is not bad

to have the body. To have experienced joy
as the mere lifting of hunger   
is not to have known it   
less. The tobacco leaves   
don’t mind being removed
to the long racks—all uses are astounding

to the used.
There are moments in our lives which, threaded, give us heaven—
noon, for instance, or all the single victories
of gravity, or the kudzu vine,
most delicate of manias,
which has pressed its luck

this far this season.
It shines a gloating green.
Its edges darken with impatience, a kind of wind.
Nothing again will ever be this easy, lives
being snatched up like dropped stitches, the dry stalks of daylilies   
marking a stillness we can’t keep.

Jorie Graham, “Over and Over Stitch” from The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems, 1974-1994. Copyright © 1995 by Jorie Graham. Reprinted with the permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

Source: The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems 1974-1994 (HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 1995)

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Poet Jorie Graham b. 1950

Subjects Trees & Flowers, Spring, Nature, The Body

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Jorie  Graham

Biography

One of the most celebrated poets of the American post-war generation, Jorie Graham is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including Hybrids of Plants and Ghosts (1980), Erosion (1983), The End of Beauty (1987), Region of Unlikeness (1991), The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems 1974-1992 (1995) winner of the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, Never (2002), Sea Change (2008), and Place (2012), among others. Born in New . . .

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SUBJECT Trees & Flowers, Spring, Nature, The Body

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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