Only Connect!

E. M. Forster’s famous epigraph “Only Connect!” comes to mind as I write this blog, hoping to somehow connect the visceral relief I feel finally having our beloved pug, Pikachu, home with the final poem written for The Adulterer’s Notebook.  I guess a point of comparison between the two is the recognition of the mutability of our daily lives, and once we experience even a slight shift in the foundation, it is as if we can never return wholly, completely, to the place we inhabited prior to that shift.  The connections that Forster demanded are what allow us to make sense of, to find meaning in, the forever changing landscape of our lives, of our world–a world that we, in some ways, can no more control than we can control the changing of the seasons or the shifting of the winds.  Perhaps no greater proof of this is the immeasurable collective grief of our country caught in the aftermath of yet another unspeakable act. I have read that the 26.2 miles of the Boston Marathon were connected to the 26 lives lost at Sandy Hook Elementary School…and so a celebration connects–with an intended ameliorative effect– to a tragedy, only to have that connection metamorphose into a connection of a different sort entirely…Perhaps our truest point of connection is the commonality of our place on the precipice…our pets, our children, our spouses, our loves, our desires, and our losses are what exist, somewhat bewilderingly, over the edge…



This is what we want, love,

For the story to be different:

For example, we wake

To an impossible grey—

What happened to the bright sun,

To summer’s insistence on quiet acquiescence—

Spruce, oak, poplar, and pine

All stayed dumb in their greenness

As light shot through their branches like a sudden

Fluorescent bulb—

By early November, the staggered

White peel

Of the birch’s bark

Drew its lines among the evergreen.

We made love every night

For a week, as if separately,


And so our story mimics the larger world–

The slow drift of what is

Almost certainly

The final maple leaf

Takes place in the cool brown

Of our yard.  We know that what the brilliant

reds and yellows revealed

was loss:

Only death can follow.

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