Linda Pastan

(1932 - / New York / United States)

The Happiest Day - Poem by Linda Pastan

It was early May, I think
a moment of lilac or dogwood
when so many promises are made
it hardly matters if a few are broken.
My mother and father still hovered
in the background, part of the scenery
like the houses I had grown up in,
and if they would be torn down later
that was something I knew
but didn't believe. Our children were asleep
or playing, the youngest as new
as the new smell of the lilacs,
and how could I have guessed
their roots were shallow
and would be easily transplanted.
I didn't even guess that I was happy.
The small irritations that are like salt
on melon were what I dwelt on,
though in truth they simply
made the fruit taste sweeter.
So we sat on the porch
in the cool morning, sipping
hot coffee. Behind the news of the day--
strikes and small wars, a fire somewhere--
I could see the top of your dark head
and thought not of public conflagrations
but of how it would feel on my bare shoulder.
If someone could stop the camera then...
if someone could only stop the camera
and ask me: are you happy?
perhaps I would have noticed
how the morning shone in the reflected
color of lilac. Yes, I might have said
and offered a steaming cup of coffee.


Comments about The Happiest Day by Linda Pastan

  • Malabika Ray (5/6/2018 4:59:00 PM)


    Enjoyed your poem. Really beautiful! (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Lyn Paul (5/6/2018 4:10:00 PM)


    Appreciating those simple things in life, just as we should. (Report) Reply

  • Bill Cantrell (5/6/2018 1:54:00 PM)


    Oh, how beatiful this is, ...yes...a moment of lilac or dogwood will break the composure of any romantic, promises must spring forth! My friend, this is the best poem I have read in a good while, I just love it! ! ! Congrats! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • Kumarmani Mahakul (5/6/2018 8:44:00 AM)


    Touching expression with nice collocation. Beautiful poem shared. (Report) Reply

  • Glen Kappy (5/6/2018 8:44:00 AM)


    A fine reflection rich with details of her life. Her simile of salt on melon especially stands out for me. -GK (Report) Reply

  • Anil Kumar Panda (5/6/2018 7:14:00 AM)


    Very nice poem.Enjoyed from first till the end. Thanks for posting. (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (5/6/2018 2:39:00 AM)


    Perhaps I would have noticed! !

    Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
    (Report) Reply

  • Robert Murray Smith (5/6/2018 2:12:00 AM)


    A wonderful poem. Personally, I do not like self-centered poems. However, this one is an exception.+++10 (Report) Reply

    Kim Barney (5/6/2018 12:52:00 PM)

    Totally agree with you, Robert. This is by far the best of the three poems of the day.

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (5/6/2018 1:54:00 AM)


    Such a wonderful write by Linda Pastan👍👍👍 (Report) Reply

  • (2/20/2006 3:50:00 AM)


    This is going on my favourites. A beautiful reminder to enjoy the small things.
    Hugs Anna xxx
    (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: happy, believe, father, children, truth, mother, fire, dark, child



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003



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