“Somewhere in the World” by Linda Pastan

Somewhere in the world
something is happening
which will make its slow way here.

A cold front will come to destroy
the camellias, or perhaps it will be
a heat wave to scorch them.

A virus will move without passport
or papers to find me as I shake
a hand or kiss a cheek.

Somewhere a small quarrel
has begun, a few overheated words
ignite a conflagration,

and the smell of smoke
is on its way;
the smell of war.

Wherever I go I knock on wood—
on tabletops or tree trunks.
I rinse my hands over and over again.

I scan the newspapers
and invent alarm codes which are not
my husband’s birth date or my own.

But somewhere something is happening
against which there is no planning, only
those two aging conspirators, Hope and Luck.

“Somewhere in the World,” by Linda Pastan, appeared in the Fall 2007 issue of MQR.

6 thoughts on ““Somewhere in the World” by Linda Pastan

  1. Naida Hyde

    Linda Pastan’s poem has a timeless quality, elegant, it could have been written for today’s world. I am heading to the hospital to visit my beloved ex, and know that I will be heading into air full of viruses and sorrow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Timeless and elegant…so true Nadia. I just wrote to Brian that her poems seem to reflect my mood so well these days. Jaded, yet still just a bit hopeful.

      Sorry to hear that your ex is in the hospital. I wish you both strength and comfort. ❤️

      Sent from my iPhone



  2. avisannschild

    I love Linda Pastan’s poetry! Thanks for sharing this poem with us (though it strikes me a bleak on this bleak day).


    1. I love her poetry too. She becomes more and more a favorite of mine. I sometimes wonder if it is her poetry that is bleak, or if it’s just my bleak mood that I project onto it. Probably both.

      Bleak, but hopeful. Seems pretty apropos. ❤️

      Sent from my iPhone


      Liked by 1 person

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