Vox Populi

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Sam Hamill: Odysseus in Paris, 6 a.m.

I’m leaning out the window, looking

up Rue Pascal, up the hill toward

Mouffetard, where soon the markets

will overflow with fresh produce and fish,

and dozens of restaurants will open

in the afternoon. The sun is still

just below the rooftops up the hill,

and the street is quiet. Cars are parked

bumper to bumper, the same way people

are jammed into restaurant seats at night.

The early morning light is soft and clear,

and a pigeon floats aimlessly from roof to roof,

never settling long on any peak. I turn back

into my room and stand a long time, listening

to the slow, deep breath of a woman who sleeps

so peacefully she seems almost a dream

herself, sheet drawn down to expose

her shoulder, back and hip. Am I too old,

too much the fool, to board

another mystery ship?

Copyright 2018 The Estate of Sam Hamill. From After Morning Rain published by Tiger Bark Press. Included in Vox Populi by permission of the publisher.


Sam Hamill (1943-2018) grew up on a Utah farm. He was Founding Editor of Copper Canyon Press and served as Editor there for thirty-two years. He taught in artist-in-residency programs in schools and prisons and worked with Domestic Violence programs. He directed the Port Townsend Writers Conference for nine years, and in 2003, founded Poets Against the War. He is the author of more than forty books, including celebrated translations from ancient Chinese, Japanese, Greek and Latin. (photo: Ian Boyden)

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This entry was posted on September 27, 2018 by in Opinion Leaders, Poetry and tagged , , .

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