Blind Date – poem by Jay Leeming | Ted Kooser

Our loneliness sits with us at dinner, an unwanted guest who never says anything. It’s uncomfortable. Still

I don’t remember ever having a blind date, but if I had, I suspect it would have gone just as the one goes in this poem by Jay Leeming, who lives in New York state.

 

Blind Date

 

 

Our loneliness sits with us at dinner, an unwanted guest

who never says anything. It’s uncomfortable. Still

 

we get to know each other, like students allowed

to use a private research library for only one night.

 

I go through her file of friends, cities and jobs.

“What was that like?” I ask. “What did you do then?”

 

We are each doctors who have only ourselves

for medicine, and long to prescribe it for what ails

 

the other. She has a nice smile. Maybe, maybe . . .

I tell myself. But my heart is a cynical hermit

 

who frowns once, then shuts the door of his room

and starts reading a book. All I can do now is want

 

to want her. Our polite conversation coasts

like a car running on fumes, and then rolls to a stop;

 

we split the bill, and that third guest at the table

 

goes home with each of us, to talk and talk.

 

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Jay Leeming’s most recent book of poems is Miracle Atlas, Big Pencil Press, 2011. Poem copyright © 2011 by Jay Leeming and reprinted by permission of the author and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2013 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

More in Life

Bonney Lake High School graduation 2018 | Slideshow

Check out the Panthers in their cap and gowns getting ready for life’s next challenges.

Enumclaw Health and Rehab offers free nursing training

The next round of classes starts Monday, June 26, and runs through July 24.

Beer Walk coming Saturday to downtown Enumclaw

Tickets sold out at the last event in an hour, so get yours soon.

This book, like change, is a good thing

Change, they say, is good. It’s the opportunity for growth. It’s a… Continue reading

Spartans rock the cap and gown | Slideshow

Check out some photos from last Friday’s Sumner High School graduation.

Don’t miss out on the summer reading kickoff event on June 27.

Summer is almost here! Parents: What are you going to do to… Continue reading

Holy Family Cemetery gets facelift

New leadership helped complete cemetery cleaning project and add new features.

Enumclaw couple reach marriage milestone of 75 years

Fred and Jean Gramann have been married since 1943

Most Read