American Culture · American Literature · Classic · Collection · Contemporary · Excerpt · Passage · Poetry

Raymond Carver

This morning there’s snow everywhere. We remark on it.
You tell me you didn’t sleep well. I say
I didn’t either. You had a terrible night. “Me too.”
We’re extraordinarily calm and tender with each other
as if sensing the other’s rickety state of mind.
As if we knew what the other was feeling. We don’t,
of course. We never do. No matter.
It’s the tenderness I care about. That’s the gift
this morning that moves and holds me.
Same as every morning.

— Raymond Carver, from “The Gift,” Ultramarine: Poems. (Vintage; Vintage Books ed edition, October 12, 1987) Originally published 1986.

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