So, not so long ago a professor assigned my class the task of writing a poem using the same starting line as Czeslaw Milosz used in one of a selection of poems we had read. This is what I wrote. I am posting it this week because of what is going on this week is about Invisible Illnesses. Next week I will post the second poem I wrote using this same first line.
Yesterday’s Sorrow

A Day so happy it could only be a dream
An interlude filled with hollow gifts
No pain, no pills, no needles,
No shadows in my family’s eyes
In my mind I can name it: Normal
Yet I cannot speak this name for fear,
Dreams dissolve you seeMy Heart names it also: False, Forbidden, Lost
For Time cannot be spun backwards

My days are now marked with pills
My years with doctors visits and tests
And it is easy to get lost in wanting the dream

So easy to miss the wind in the trees, children’s laughter,
The Sun on the lake and the stars at night
To forget the welcoming hugs

But sometimes yesterday’s sorrow is still too great
Too tempting, too easy to fall into
But even then the gifts of dream
Are hollow, shattered by today’s realities, necessities

And I know that here is where I must make my peace
Between the dreams and the endless tomorrows
Here today, every today
Again and again and again
Written Spring 2005

For those of you who want to find Milosz’s original poem (because I really did take the first line and go somewhere very different), I recommend New and Collected Poems: 1931-2001 . It’s a large book, but I promise, he’s really good. For more info on Milosz check out wikipedia’s page on him .

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