She woke me up at dawn,
her suitcase like a little brown dog at her heels.
I sat up and looked out the window
at the snow falling in the stand of blackjack trees.
A bus ticket in her hand.
Then she brought something black up to her mouth,
a plum I thought, but it was an asthma inhaler.
I reached under the bed for my menthols
and she asked if I ever thought of cancer.
Yes, I said, but always as a tree way up ahead
in the distance where it doesn't matter
And I suppose a dead soul must look back at that tree,
so far behind his wagon where it also doesn't matter.
except as a memory of rest or water.
Though to believe any of that, I thought,
you have to accept the premise
that she woke me up at all.
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Comments about this poem (Imagining Defeat by David Berman )
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
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(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
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