Perfect Poem at the Right Time

From Denise Levertov’s A Woman Alone

When half her bed is covered with books

and no one is kept awake by the reading light

and she disconnects the phone to sleep till noon

Then

self-pity dries up, a joy

untainted by guilt lifts her.

She has fear, but not about loneliness;

fears about how to deal with the aging

of her body – how to deal

with photographs and the mirror. She feels

so much younger and more beautiful

than she likes.

…she is past the time of mourning

now she can say without shame or deceit

O blessed solitude.