This Morning by Raymond Carver
This morning was something. A little snow
lay on the ground. The sun floated in a clear
blue sky. The sea was blue, and blue-green,
as far as the eye could see.
Scarecely a ripple. Calm. I dressed and went
for a walk – determined not to return
until I took in what Nature had to offer.
I passed close to some old, bent over trees.
Crossed a field strewn with rocks
where snow had drifted. Kept going
until I reached the bluff.
Where I gazed at the sea, and the sky, and
the gulls wheeling over the white beach
far below. All lovely. All bathed in pure
cold light. But, as usual, my thoughts
began to wander. I had to will
myself to see what I was seeing
and nothing else. I had to tell myself this is what
mattered, not the other (And I did see it,
for a minute or two!) For a minute or two
it crowded out the usual musings on
what was right, and what was wrong – duty,
tender memories, thoughts of death, how I should treat
with my former wife. All the things
I hoped would go away this morning.
The stuff I live with every day. What
I’ve trampled on i order to stay alive.
But for a minute or two I did forget
myself and everything else. I know I did
For when I turned back I didn’t know
where I was. Until some birds rose up
from the gnarled trees. And flew
in the direction I needed to be going.