Amor Fati by Katha Pollitt


Everywhere I look I see my fate.

In the subway. In a stone.

On the curb where people wait for the bus in the rain.

In a cloud. In a glass of wine.

When I go for a walk in the park it's a sycamore leaf.

At the office, a dull pencil.

In the window of Woolworth's my fate looks back at me

through the shrewd eyes of a dusty parakeet.

Scrap of newspaper, dime in a handful of change,

down what busy street do you hurry this morning,

an overcoat among overcoats,

with a train to catch, a datebook full of appointments?

If I called you by my name would you turn around

or vanish round the corner,

leaving a faint odor of orange-flower water,

tobacco, twilight, snow?

Today is political commentator and poet Katha Pollitt‘s 60th birthday. Many happy returns!