Monday, February 29, 2016


February 29

An extra day—

Like the painting's fifth cow,
who looks out directly,
straight toward you,
from inside her black and white spots.

An extra day—

Accidental, surely:
the made calendar stumbling over the real
as a drunk trips over the threshold
too low to see.

An extra day—

With a second cup of black coffee.
A friendly but businesslike phone call.
A mailed-back package.
Some extra work, but not too much—
just one day's worth, exactly.

An extra day—

Extraordinarily like any other.
And still
there is some generosity to it,
like a letter re-readable after its writer has died.

Jane Hirshfield, from The Beauty
via Poem-a-Day


  1. I am home from work, have collected my son from after-school lego club, and am now gleefully, selfishly ensconsed in bed with a hot water bottle.

  2. I swear to you- I just mailed back a package.

  3. What a sweet thought. It is like an - extra - day isn't it? Like time we didn't know we had. If we strung all the leap days together, how much time would it add to our lives? Or maybe we could just save them all until the very end and then we really would have..just a little more time.

  4. Such an intimate and exquisite poem

  5. Oh, to be on a planet that spins slower. Thirty-six hour days. I still have an answering machine that uses micro-cassette tapes. I have a drawer of saved voices, including some
    I can never hear again.

  6. That image makes me want to read, and write. I can't decide.

  7. Leap years are so strange. I kept having to remind myself that it's not "extra time," but just a byproduct of our method of counting. The time would be there no matter what we called it!



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