Poem of the Day: “Imaginary Conversations” by Linda Pastan

Imaginary Conversations

You tell me to live each day
as if it were my last. This is in the kitchen
where before coffee I complain
of the day ahead—that obstacle race
of minutes and hours,
grocery stores and doctors.
But why the last? I ask. Why not
live each day as if it were the first—
all raw astonishment, Eve rubbing
her eyes awake that first morning,
the sun coming up
like an ingénue in the east?
You grind the coffee
with the small roar of a mind
trying to clear itself. I set
the table, glance out the window
where dew has baptized every
living surface.

About the author

Linda Pastan (born 1932 in New York) is an American poet of Jewish background. Since the early 1970s, Pastan has produced quiet lyrics that focus on themes like marriage, parenting, and grief. She is interested in the anxieties that exist under the surface of everyday life. Pastan’s many awards include the Dylan Thomas award, a Pushcart Prize, the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry, the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, and the Ruth Lily Poetry Prize, in 2003. Pastan served as Poet Laureate of Maryland from 1991 to 1995. She is the author of over 15 books of poetry and essays. Her recent collections include The Last Uncle (2001), Queen of a Rainy Country (2006), Traveling Light (2011), Insomnia (2015), and A Dog Runs Through It (2018). She lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

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