Archive for November 23rd, 2008


The Story of My Life
by Jennifer Michael Hecht

Each day goes down in history, wets its feet,
bathes in the clear or murky stream, drinks deep,
comes out to join past days on the other bank.
We go in with the bathing day, every morning,
brace the shiver on our skin, taste the slaking
of thirst, find footing on mossy rock. Climb out
with sleep. Waking, we’re back on the first bank,
wading with a new day into the kaleidoscopic
water. Days far from either bank are barely seen
and seem unseeing. There is no recording of them
that knows the cold and quenching of their moment
in the water. Yet I cannot let them go, nor bear
the strong suggestion formed by their fading figures
that they have let us go and that those coming cannot
be foretold anything actual of water, flesh, or stone.
Publisher holds out a large envelope says, Sorry.
We can’t publish your autobiography.
Man sighs, says, Story of my life.
All these words, then, are only for the stream?
The stream is everything? The stream is not enough?
The specters on the banks are deaf but listening?

“Story of My Life” by Jennifer Michael Hecht from Funny.

© University of Wisconsin Press, 2005.

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