• Penny Harter


Thanks to James Crews for calling my attention to a line by Rilke, No feeling is final, in his commentary this morning after sharing Ada Limon’s poem “It’s the Season I Often Mistake” on Gwarlingo:


These winter mornings when time seems to have reverted to a year ago, with new variants of a rampaging virus seemingly born almost daily, it’s hard to escape feeling stuck again, emotions caught in a web of frustration and occasional despair. Live in the moment, most of the world’s great teachers tell us. It’s all we have. Yes, but . . . too often it’s hard to do.

No Feeling is Final

This morning the ground outside my window

still shines with snow, though much will melt

this afternoon as temperatures rise.

Later in the week will come plummeting cold,

freezing rain, black ice patches forming on the

macadam from flash-frozen run-off.

Yesterday I went nowhere, feeling trapped,

reluctant to enter bitter cold, to risk falling on

leftover snow or slush on the way to the car.

Spent most of the day on the couch, glued to

the tv, the internet, or reading a fluffy novel

taking me somewhere, anywhere other.

And when I woke today to more gray sky,

I vowed to somehow move more, do more,

get out of the house, breathe fresh air.

Yet I need to accept that yesterday was okay—

forgive myself for staying in pajamas, couch

throw pulled up to my chin, despondent.

And to affirm that it’s okay to be here now,

in this moment—an aging woman savoring

lukewarm tea in a room lit by snow.

© 2022 Penny Harter

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