An Unforgettable Day


It was the most ordinary of days.
The morning was nothing
to write home about,

from the first bleak cup of tea
to the final off-hand crumple
of the newspaper.

The hours slumped into one long yawn,
until a very average noon
was made even more run-of-the-mill

by telephone calls that soon gave up
and became dead to the world.
All these dullnesses were succeeded

by a lackadaisical sleepwalk
through a clapped-out afternoon,
until, with its usual apathy, the evening

pulled its blinds down on the most
commonplace of sunsets. After which,
I can only suppose I may have

eaten something, then nodded off,
though I can recall nothing precisely ?
just a half-knackered notion

that the evening eventually gurgled away
into the void of night. In fact, the slack
plainness of everything that happened

makes the day stand out starkly
in its heavy-lidded normality.
Everything was so accustomed,

so entirely unmemorable, so tediously
forgettable, so utterly done in,
that I cannot get these non-events

out of my mind. I try to think
of something else, but it all
keeps coming back and astonishing me.

In a world of endless possibilities
it is amazing
what doesn?t happen.

from Fourteen Reasons for Writing (Hazard Press, 2001), © Kevin Ireland 2001, used by permission of the author. Recording from the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archives (2004).

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