A Poem of Necessity
Today I am grieving, but
not for any certain reason.
It is Saturday at a country house.
No one should be grieving here.
But it happens that way, at times.
It is a thing we do to ourselves.
Afterall, people sing in prisons.
They laugh in rooms with the dying.
Surely things end, but they
begin as well, don’t they?
Perhaps I am not grieving
for today, but for yesterday.
I recall clearly when it was
right there before me, now
I am unsure where I put it.
It is not unlike the wind, which
comes and goes, or the leaves
it takes from these trees, which
accumulate in layers of loss.
It’s not for what I cannot recall,
but only for what I can.
It is there in my mirror, in the
face I have come to owning.
The face which has become
a gray shroud for my youth.
So much for us to know,
all the more to be imagined.
Surely we should not
spare time to grieve.
Our time passes, and we
must pass with it.
What a strange thing, these musings
which can cause the eyes to fill.
Facing how much is bygone.
Last night, in this house, our cats
walked the floor above our bed.
Through the length of the dark.
While no one was watching.
They traveled the night.
Daniel Thomas Moran, born in New York City in 1957, is the author of six volumes of poetry, the most recent of which, Looking for the Uncertain Past, was published by Poetry Salzburg at The University of Salzburg in 2006. He earned a B.S. in Biology from Stony Brook University (1979) and a Doctorate in Dental Surgery from Howard University (1983). He has done readings in Ireland, Italy, Austria, Great Britain, and at The United Nations. From 1997-2005 he served as Vice-President of The Walt Whitman Birthplace Association in West Hills, New York and has been Literary Correspondent to Long Island Public Radio where he hosted The Long Island Radio Magazine. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize on eight occasions. He was profiled on WNET New York City Public Television’s Setting the Stage, and on The Poet and The Poem from The Library of Congress hosted by Grace Cavalieri. In 2005, he was appointed Poet Laureate by The Legislature of Suffolk County, New York. He is listed in Who’s Who in America, is a member of PEN American, The Association of Literary Scholars, Critics and Writers, and is an ordained Celebrant by The American Humanist Association. His collected papers are being archived by Stony Brook University where he also served on The Dean’s Council at The Frank Melville Library. A volume of his poems have been published in Romanian by The University of Bucharest, and there will be a Spanish language collection published in the coming year. He is Clinical Assistant Professor at Boston University’s School of Dental Medicine, where he delivered the Commencement Address in 2011 and received the ADSA Outstanding Faculty Award. In 2012 he received the Outstanding Clinical Faculty Award from the graduating class. His seventh collection, A Shed for Wood is to be published by Salmon Poetry in Ireland in 2013. He and his wife Karen live in Boston’s South End and in Webster, NH.