Saturday Poem: Older Love

Photo Credit: Jeff Topping for the New York Times

His wife has asthma
so he only smokes outdoors
or late at night with head
and shoulders well into
the fireplace, the mesquite and oak
heat bright against his face.
Does it replace the heat
that has wandered from love
back into the natural world?
But then the shadow passion casts
is much longer than passion,
stretching with effort from year to year.
Outside tonight hard wind and sleet
from three bald mountains,
and on the hearth before his face
the ashes we’ll all become,
soft as the back of a woman’s knee.

By: Jim Harrison at Poetic Outlaws
Jim Harrison: Complete Poems. Copper Canyon Press. 2021.
Saving Daylight. CCP. 2006.