My mom sent me this poem and I love it so much that I want to include it here.

The Modernist Impulse

On My Birthday

Has it ever been absent, this desire

for every moment to stand in relief,

the unending row of them set

like solitaires into what passes,

burnished to unbearable depths?

The park here is going green and all at once

its expanse is a moment of its own great making,

a flare in the midst of so much shattered.

The trees are certain their time has come.

I have never once been able to say yes,

now, this is the instant in which

I should begin to live again,

in which this love is the only love

worth having, the richest of all possible shining arts

to hold forth: Here,

I was here and I knew it.

In this neighborhood the slate

sidewalk piles up on itself all winter,

as it has for hundreds of winters,

cracked by the cold and heaving

into crazed shelter for the dirt below.

I roll back the stone from my life.

Oh my near-miss, return to me

now when I need you most. Come

and tell me that ages pass, that effort

is rewarded at the very least after we die.

I loved you as well as this sweet green park

coming into focus across the street,

all in delicate arrogance.

— Melanie Rehak


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