Week 235: Strange How You Stay, by Dorothy Trogdon

I have to confess that I had never heard of Dorothy Trogdon till a few days ago, when my attention was drawn to this poem on the Web and I knew from a sudden switching on of alertness that here was a poet I wanted to know better. Haven’t found out much about her so far – she’s American, lives in Orcas Island, been writing for a long while but only recently in her old age started publishing. So, acquaintance is a work in progress; meanwhile I hope you like this quietly assured piece as much as I did.

Strange How You Stay 

Strange how you may stay in one place—
Say a house facing a stand of alders—
and yet are carried forward,

stay in one place but not in that time,
not in the years that meant so much to you,
that were your happiest years,

how you are helplessly carried onward.

It has come hard to me, this knowledge,
I have had to practice to do it—

to swallow silently the losses while I hold close
what the heart has claimed.

Now the trees have entered their winter silence.
In the garden, one foolhardy yellow rose
Is blooming still.

Dorothy Trogdon


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