High

why I am smitten with Billy Collins:

High

On that clear October morning,
I was only behind a double espresso
and a single hit of anti-depressant,

yet there, on the shore of the reservoir
with its flipped over rowboats,
I felt like I was walking with Jane Austen

to borrow the jargon of the streets.
Yes, I was wearing the crown,
as the drug addicts like to say,

knitting a bonnet for Charlie,
entertaining the troops,
sitting in the study with H.G. Wells–

so many ways to express that mood
of royal goodwill
when the gift of sight is cause enough for jubilation.

And later that afternoon
when I finally came down,
a lexicon was waiting for me there, too.

In my upholstered chair by a window
with dusk pouring into the room,
I appeared to be doing nothing,

but inside I was busy riding the marble,
as the lurkers like to put it,
talking to Marco Polo,

juggling turtles,
going through the spin cycle,
or–my favorite, if I had to have one–out of milk.

Billy Collins

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