Every day one poem from the notebooks, typed, revised, left
again to age. Every day, two visits to the chickens: feed,
water, in winter break the ice in the bowl, in summer, tip the
straw and swollen corn grains out. Check for eggs. Have a
little chat, “You crazy ladies.” Get up with the light, not the
alarm. Read. Ah, read without insistence, read without
thinking of quiz questions, read with the old delight. Work
on long things: stories, essays, the maybe-novel. Do not
worry about any of them, sit back into them each day at the
desk as into a comfortable chair, lay back into them as into
a warm day-bed in the bay-windowed sunlight. Stand
sometimes on the back porch in the dark, looking at the
stars, remembering the shadow of the gone ash tree. Plant,
pick, cook. Feed and water and wine the marriage. The day
no more like an enemy, pressing with its knives and chores.
Sons to dinner weekly, then back to their lives. Elbow-room.
Walks. Naps. Time for time.
Richard Hague is a native of Steubenville, Ohio, has lived occasionally in rural Monroe County, Ohio, and mostly in Cincinnati, where he teaches. His During The Recent Extinctions: New and Selected Poems 1984-2012 (Dos Madres Press) was the 2012 Weatherford Award winner in Poetry. Alive in Hard Country (Bottom Dog Press, 2003) was named Poetry Book of the Year by the Appalachian Writers Association. Lately, in the spring and fall, with Pauletta Hansel, he is part of a River Writing Workshop which takes place at the Ohio River Station of the Biology Department of Thomas More College. Richard’s previous work in Still: The Journal appears here and here.