Don’t Go Expecting

J. Allyn Rosser

Spring 2018

One’s disappointment is perhaps the one constant,
because people are always going to Facebook
the best meals, the best views, the sunniest days.
We are mortals and our journey tends to drag on.
Mist is more magical in movies and books
than driving in meaningless patches of poor visibility.
There are more gasps of delight and horror
in any twenty pages of even the most realist literature
than you will hear in a year of genuine living.
Just don’t go expecting much. Even wildflowers—
the buttercups and heather, the bloody daffodils—
they don’t gather the way Wordsworth said they did.
Little clump here, clump there, and they don’t all
bloom at once, even the daffodils you’ve planted
in the front yard. These in early March,
those in late April. And when birds gather
around here, it’s generally to celebrate roadkill.

J. Allyn Rosser’s fourth collection, Mimi’s Trapeze, appeared in 2014 from the University of Pittsburgh Press. Her work has been awarded the Morse Prize, the New Criterion Poetry Prize, and Poetry’s Bock and Wood prizes, and she has been the recipient of Lannan, Guggenheim, NEA, and Ohio Arts Council fellowships. She teaches at Ohio University, where she also edited the New Ohio Review for eight years.

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