It’s Monday morning, sunny and clear, and time for another Poem of the Week. Hope you had a sufficiently bright weekend to be able to tolerate today a small dose of ironic thought.
One Day Alanis Morrisette Will Be Dead
“Ironic” paid me a visit in the shower,
a reluctant hum starting up,
when this occurred to me,
obvious but disquieting.
I’ve seen off famous people,
felt the quasi-loss of one-way relationships
as elders shuffle off on schedule,
aberrant contemporaries wink out early.
But at 38 years old,
of ordinary talent and temperament,
the tragic and the aged are not my cohort.
I imagine hearing the news,
the fresh startle of grief
for this voice from a teenaged summer
before I learned to sneer at the song,
before I could feel an end to anything.
Grief, not for her, of course,
singing a small if unforgettable part
of my youth’s backing track,
but for my own new voice,
warm air flapping in an open car window,
horizons too distant to imagine not reaching.
Then I catch my rim shot error:
Alanis might well outlast me.
She’s a woman, and Canadian,
and does seem rather vigorous.
How facile my assumption,
our appointments on that inscrutable calendar,
how easily I forget truths
that I know but can’t quite believe.
Is that ironic?