Hesitation Theory

By Reginald Shepherd 1963–2008 Reginald Shepherd
I drift into the sound of wind,
how small my life must be
to fit into his palm like that, holly
leaf, bluejay feather, milkweed fluff,
pin straw or sycamore pod, resembling
scraps of light. The world
slips through these fingers
so easily, there’s so much
to miss: the sociable bones
linked up in supple rows, mineral
seams just under the skin. I hold
my palm against the sun and don’t see
palm or sun, don’t hold anything
in either hand. I look up, look
away (what’s that?), I trip
and stumble (fall
again), find myself face down
in duff, a foam of fallen live oak
leaves, with only
this life, mine at times.

“Hesitation Theory” from Fata Morgana by Reginald Shepherd, © 2007. All rights are controlled by the University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. Used by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.

Source: Fata Morgana (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2007)

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Poet Reginald Shepherd 1963–2008

Subjects Nature, The Body

 Reginald  Shepherd

Biography

Poet and editor Reginald Shepherd was born in New York City in 1963 and grew up in the Bronx. He earned a BA from Bennington College and studied at Brown University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His first collection, Some Are Drowning (1994), won the Associated Writing Program’s Award in Poetry; his fourth, Otherhood (2003), was a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize; and his last book, Fata Morgana (2007), won a . . .

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SUBJECT Nature, The Body

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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