One’s Ship Comes In | Poem by Joe Paddock

Joe Paddock is a Minnesota poet and he and I are, as we say in the Midwest, “of an age.” Here is a fine poem about arriving at a stage when there can be great joy in accepting life as it comes to us.

Joe Paddock is a Minnesota poet and he and I are, as we say in the Midwest, “of an age.” Here is a fine poem about arriving at a stage when there can be great joy in accepting life as it comes to us.

One’s Ship Comes In

 

I swear

my way now will be

to continue without

plan or hope, to accept

the drift of things, to shift

from endless effort

to joy in, say,

that robin, plunging

into the mossy shallows

of my bird bath and

splashing madly till

the air shines with spray.

Joy it will be, say,

in Nancy, pretty in pink

and rumpled T-shirt,

rubbing sleep from her eyes, or

joy even in

just this breathing, free

of fright and clutch, knowing

how one’s ship comes in

with each such breath.

 

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2009 by Joe Paddock from his most recent book of poetry, Dark Dreaming, Global Dimming, Red Dragonfly Press, 2009. Reprinted by permission of Joe Paddock and the publisher. Introduction copyright 2011 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

 


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