Heaven for Stanley

Mark Doty

 

For his birthday, I gave Stanley a hyacinth bean,
an annual, so he wouldn't have to wait for the flowers.

He said, Mark, I have just the place for it!
as if he'd spent ninety-eight years

anticipating the arrival of this particular vine.

I thought poetry a brace against time,
the hours held up for study in a voice's cool saline,

but his allegiance is not to permanent forms.
His garden's all furious change,

budding and rot and then the coming up again;

why prefer any single part of the round?
I don't know that he'd change a word of it;

I think he could be forever pleased
to participate in motion. Something opens.

He writes it down. Heaven steadies
and concentrates near the lavender. He's already there.

 
Copyright © 2005 Mark Doty.

Poems by This Author

A Green Crab's Shell by Mark Doty
Not, exactly, green:
At the Gym by Mark Doty
This salt-stain spot
Brian, Age 7 by Mark Doty
Broadway by Mark Doty
Under Grand Central's tattered vault
Couture by Mark Doty
Peony silks
Deep Lane by Mark Doty
Heaven for Helen by Mark Doty
Helen says heaven, for her
Letter to God by Mark Doty
Paul's Tattoo by Mark Doty
Robert Harms Paints the Surface
of Little Fresh Pond
by Mark Doty
Surface the action of the day
Signal by Mark Doty
Spent by Mark Doty
Late August morning I go out to cut
The Embrace by Mark Doty
You weren't well or really ill yet either;


Further Reading

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Stanley Kunitz