What a Rush

Ron Smith Click to

Ron Smith Photo 2014Ron Smith has served as Poet Laureate of Virginia since 2014.  A native of Savannah, he is writer-in-residence at St. Christopher’s School, edits poetry for Aethlon: The Journal of Sports Literature and has received the Theodore Roethke Prize and the Guy Owen Prize.  The University of Florida Press published his Running Again in Hollywood Cemetery, and more recently LSU has published Moon Road: Poems 1986-2005 (2007) and Its Ghostly Workshop (2013).  The Humility of the Brutes is forthcoming.

	to see you there in the sun, shining 
with your best smile, not in fact
		gone forever, waving
off my question, delighted
	with my delight, sitting
bony on my lap, which you would never
		have done in life, my
proper friend, my neglected familiar. 

So this is how it’s going to be, this
	angry gratitude, this 
		torment of the taken-
for-granted? Speak me a sonnet
	about Darwin and daguerreotypes  
and this time I’ll try not to wake 
		to the raw dazzle of morning. 

					for Claudia


4 Responses to What a Rush

  1. Camille Hunt says:

    Wow. This poem conveys raw emotion, an intriguing blend of love, hatred, longing, regret. It is even more intriguing because at points it is difficult to distinguish who is feeling what emotion. Who took who for granted? I keep finding evidence for either side.

    I love that the first stanza follows a dreamy, quiet pattern one might expect in the average reminiscent love poem, but the second stanza jolts the reader into an expression of anger, agitation. The contrast plunges us from dream to nightmare, yet the narrator presumably does not want to wake up. The frustration he feels is almost tangible; there are so many things he would have changed while Claudia lived, but now it’s too late.

  2. edison jennings says:

    She was/is a beautiful poet and your poem does her memory justice.

  3. Brian Slusher says:

    I like the break at the word “taken.” Sharp choice. And I love the word “daguerreotype.”

  4. Jack Greer says:

    A lovely poem, evocative, with a fetching rhythm. And a sweet authority. Darwin. Daguerrotypes. Dazzle.
    Yes, we’re dazzled.

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