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Andrea Hollander: Pleasure

Because yesterday I lay fully dressed

alone on my bed listening

to the sweet-tempered yatter

of rain I’d longed for all summer,

a sound that continued for hours

against the bedroom window,


and because the dissonance of traffic

on the street below was faint beneath it,

the rain light and steady and close,


and because yesterday it finally felt normal

to sleep alone, wake and eat alone,

walk out on my own, deciding

when and where to go

without telling anyone,


this morning, because I remembered

the pleasure of yesterday’s rain,

yesterday’s solitude,

I showered and dressed, I finished

my second cup, put the Times

in the recycling bin under the sink,

and took my time tidying the kitchen,


and then, because I could,

and because I no longer think of pleasure

as something that must be shared,

as I believed all those years

of my marriage,


I walked back down the hall

past new paintings by my son

and stood awhile in my bedroom

admiring the brocade coverlet


I bought my first winter alone,

its intricate stitching, its pearl gray sheen,

and slipping off my shoes

I lay down again and listened,

even though there was no rain.


Copyright 2018 Andrea Hollander

Andrea Hollander moved to Portland, Oregon, in 2011, after many years in the Arkansas Ozarks, where she ran a bed & breakfast for 15 years and served as the Writer-in-Residence at Lyon College for 22. Hollander’s 5th full-length poetry collection, Blue Mistaken for Sky, is due from Autumn House Press in September 2018. Her 4th was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award; her 1st won the Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize. Hollander’s many other honors include the Vern Rutsala Award, an Oregon Literary Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, and two fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts.

One comment on “Andrea Hollander: Pleasure

  1. Shirley Patterson
    August 28, 2018

    Love Pleasure!

    Liked by 1 person

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