If I slept too long, forgive me.
A north wind quickened the window frames
so the room pitched like a moving train
and the pillow's whiff of hickory
and shaving soap conjured your body
beside me. So I slept in the berth
as the train chuffed on, unburdened
by waking's cold water, ignorant
of pain, estrangement, hunger and
the crucial fuel the boiler burned
to keep the minutes' pistons churning
while I slept. Forgive me. That Kind of Happy
, the long-awaited second collection by award-winning poet Maggie Dietz, explores the sharp, profound tension between a disquieted inner life and quotidian experience. Central to the book are poems that take up two major life events: becoming a mother and losing a father within a short stretch of time. Here, at the intersection of joy and grief, of persistence and attrition, Dietz wrestles with the questions posed by such conflicting experiences, revealing a mind suspicious of quick fixes and dissatisfied with easy answers. The result is a book as anguished as it is distinguished.