“Surprise” by Jane Kenyon

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It is the poet, Jane Kenyon’s, birthday today. She was born in 1947 and died in 1995 from leukemia. She was married to the poet Donald Hall.

He suggests pancakes at the local diner,
followed by a walk in search of mayflowers,
while friends convene at the house
bearing casseroles and a cake, their cars
pulled close along the sandy shoulders
of the road, where tender ferns unfurl
in the ditches, and this year’s budding leaves
push last year’s spectral leaves from the tips
of the twigs of the ash trees. The gathering
itself is not what astounds her, but the casual
accomplishment with which he has lied.

 
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