William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)
We woke this Sunday morning to no hot water.
A trip to the basement revealed a
drip drip drip mini-flood,
on-a-counta-what our Sears Kenmore Power Miser 6
gas water heater had sprung a leak.
So while my guy called 24/7 double-time-on-the-weekend plumbers,
I -- in my P.J.s and Crocs -- swept water down the floor drain.
I’ll spare you the details,
but by the time the problem was solved,
I’d missed my chance to hear Rabbi Shefa Gold
lead a Sunday morning workshop on
The Magic of Hebrew Chant: Healing the Spirit,
Transforming the Mind, Deepening Love.
I was beyond disappointed.
I mean, how often does Shefa Gold visit Omaha, Nebraska?
I’d been anticipating this experience for weeks,
looking forward to sharing the same space with
to have her voice, her incantations, smooth my brow,
soothe my soul.
And now the opportunity was literally down the drain.
Man plans. God laughs.
Even on April 2, He plays April Fool's Day jokes.
In honor of National Poetry Month 2017,
and because his words sort of mirror
my screwed up Sunday morning,
I give you this verse by Howard Nemerov,
U.S. Poet Laureate, 1963 - 64 and 1988 - 90;
Pulitzer Prize winner for Poetry, 1978.
You know the old story Ann Landers tells
About the housewife in her basement doing the wash?
She's wearing her nightie, and she thinks, "Well, hell,
I might's well put this in as well," and then
Being dripped on by a leaky pipe puts on
Her son's football helmet; whereupon
The meter reader happens to walk through
and "Lady," he gravely says, "I sure hope your team wins.”
A story many times told in many ways,
The set of random accidents redeemed
By one more accident, as though chaos
Were the order that was before the creation came.
That is the way things happen in the world:
A joke, a disappointment satisfied,
As we walk through doing our daily round,
Reading the meter, making things add up.
copyright Ozzie Nogg 2017 (not the Nemerov poem, of course . . . )