Some things are ordinary but perfect:
drinking coffee on summer mornings
with you as the cats laze about, fed,
on you or on me or curled together
in the bay window on a sunny pillow.
Outside the weeping beech stirs
in the wind, leaves hanging down
like just washed long tresses.
We talk softly of the pending day.
This is all I would need of heaven
that I don’t believe in, but this
I’m always interested in what happiness looks like, the authentic kind, so this brief poem caught my attention. I especially like the opening line: Some things are ordinary but perfect. Think about that; is it not so true? The ordinariness of drinking coffee on summer mornings, even if your choice is tea or something else, that first sip can be perfect. The image of cats curled together / in the bay window on a sunny pillow is such an iconic one, you don’t need your own cats, just your your imagination.
The imagery of the weeping birch, leaves hanging down / like just washed long tresses is also memorable, also ordinary and perfect. If you don’t have any weeping birch in view, surely there are other graceful leaves to soothe your sight. The poet and her unseen partner talk softly of the pending day, those ordinary, simple conversations that may occur at any time of the day, especially with ourselves.
The final line captures the essence of this morning, something any one of us might say: This is all I would need of heaven / that I don’t believe in and then she turns it into the coup-de-grâce, but this / I believe. Yes, this ordinary happiness I, too, can believe in, simple but perfect.