Another Poem from Billy Collins. This one is from his collection, Picnic, Lightning. Carry it in your  pocket.


This Much I Do Remember


It was after dinner.

You were talking to me across the table

about something or other,

a greyhound you had seen that day

or a song you liked,


and I was looking past you

over your bare shoulder

at the three oranges lying

on the kitchen counter

next to the small electric bean grinder,

which was also orange,

and the orange and white cruets for vinegar and oil.


Alll of which converged

into a random still life,

so fastened together by the hasp of color,

and so fixed behind the animated

foreground of your

talking and smiling,

gesturing and pouring wine,

and the camber of you shoulders


that I could feel it being painted within me,

brushed on the wall of my skull,

while the tone of your voice

lifted and fell in its flight,

and the three oranges

remained fixed on the counter

the way that stars are said

to be fixed in the universe.


Then all of the moments of the past

began to line up behind that moment

and all of the moments to come

assembled in front of it in a long row,

giving me reason to believe

that this was a moment I had rescued

from millions that rush out of sight

into a darkness behind the eyes.


Even after I have forgotten what year it is,

my middle name,

and the meaning of money,

I will still carry in my pocket

the small coin of that moment,

minted in the kingdom

that we pace through every day.


- Billy Collins


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