it comes on unexpectedly

Many of you might be familiar with American writer Raymond Carver for his iconic short stories, such as the minimalist/raw yet elegant pieces that comprise Cathedral or What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. He was born in Oregon in 1938 and died from lung cancer at the age of 50 in 1988, only six weeks after his marriage to poet Tess Gallagher.

In his unfortunately abbreviated lifetime , Carver also wrote some fine poetry; in fact, I think he published more anthologies of poems than he did stories.  Tonight, I give you one.

"Happiness"--Raymond Carver

So early it's still almost dark out.
I'm near the window with coffee,
and the usual early morning stuff
that passes for thought.

When I see the boy and his friend
walking up the road
to deliver the newspaper.

They wear caps and sweaters,
and one boy has a bag over his shoulder.
They are so happy
they aren't saying anything, these boys.

I think if they could, they would take
each other's arm.
It's early in the morning,
and they are doing this thing together.

They come on, slowly.
The sky is taking on light,
though the moon still hangs pale over the water.

Such beauty that for a minute
death and ambition, even love,
doesn't enter into this.

Happiness. It comes on
unexpectedly. And goes beyond, really,
any early morning talk about it.


2 thoughts on “it comes on unexpectedly

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s