Poetry Friday:Days by Billy Collins

 Poetry Friday is hosted by Sally Murphy

We have passed the midpoint of our school year.  Quite suddenly, or so it seems, the year has shrunk by half.  Time, which seemed more than enough in September, now  feels hardly enough.

After dismissal today, I kept watch from my window as middle schoolers skated and sloshed in ankle deep melting snow.  In a few months, the trees will be lush, the kids will be bigger and in it’s-summer-already mode.

Time flies…yes, it does.

Days by Billy Collins

Each one is a gift, no doubt,
mysteriously placed in your waking hand
or set upon your forehead
moments before you open your eyes.

Today begins cold and bright,
the ground heavy with snow
and the thick masonry of ice,
the sun glinting off the turrets of clouds.

Through the calm eye of the window
everything is in its place
but so precariously
this day might be resting somehow

on the one before it,
all the days of the past stacked high
like the impossible tower of dishes
entertainers used to build on stage.

No wonder you find yourself
perched on the top of a tall ladder
hoping to add one more.
Just another Wednesday

you whisper,
then holding your breath,
place this cup on yesterday’s saucer
without the slightest clink.



12 thoughts on “Poetry Friday:Days by Billy Collins

  1. Such a wonderful thought in the opening stanza of “Days.” Love your words: “Time, which seemed more than enough in September, now feels hardly enough.” I just substitute a different month, date, season for “September” and think how true this is so often in my life.

  2. Today the dog will be groomed two hours away; two hours to return
    Today I’ll listen to a book on cd in the car
    Today I will get up out of bed
    Because of coffee!

  3. Oh, how I do love Billy Collins. It’s so hard to be pulled in two directions — wanting time to speed on…wanting time to slow down.

  4. I just wrote about time flying for Laura’s challenge. Billy Collins, ah, hard to stop loving every one of his poems! “all the days of the past stacked high” Thanks, Tara!

  5. This poem takes my breath away. That image of the tall stack of dishes- wow, wow, wow, wow, wow! I teach at a K-8 school. Lots of our alumni come back to pick up younger brothers and sisters and just pop in to say hi. I’m always struck by how quickly they are becoming men and women. I feel like I am somehow watching one of those fast time movies.

  6. I love how solid he makes the atmosphere and weather – a castle of cold: and the thick masonry of ice,/ the sun glinting off the turrets of clouds

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