48: Talking About the Day by Jim Daniels

Each night after reading three books to my two children—

we each picked one—to unwind them into dreamland,

I’d turn off the light and sit between their beds

in the wide junk-shop rocker I’d reupholstered blue,

still feeling the close-reading warmth of their bodies beside me,

and ask them to talk about the day—we did this,

we did that, sometimes leading somewhere, sometimes

not, but always ending up at the happy ending of now.

Now, in still darkness, listening to their breath slow and ease

into sleep’s regular rhythm.

Grown now, you might’ve guessed.

The past tense solid, unyielding, against the acidic drip

of recent years. But how it calmed us then, rewinding

the gentle loop, and in the trusting darkness, pressing play.


This poem can be found in the volume, Street Calligraphy.

Think about how the poem made you feel. Did the poem’s nighttime routine ring familiar, or did it make you picture a familial safe space you always wished for? Is the concept of living in the “now” something you have the ability to do, or an anxious impossibility?

May you live out another beautiful poem in the collection of your life today, and we’ll see you tomorrow.

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