“Ordinary Days” by Stephen Dunn

The storm is over; too bad, I say.
At least storms are clear
about their dangerous intent.

Ordinary days are what I fear,
the sneaky speed
with which noon arrives, the sun

shining while a government darkens
a decade, or a man
falls out of love. I fear the solace

of repetition, a withheld slap in the face.
Someone is singing
in Portugal. Here the mockingbird

is a crow and a grackle, then a cat.
So many things
happening at once. If I decide

to turn over my desk, go privately wild,
trash the house,
no one across town will know.

I must insist how disturbing this is–
the necessity
of going public, of being a fool.

“Ordinary Days” by Stephen Dunn, from New and Selected Poems 1974-1994, (W.W. Norton and Company, 1995)

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