Raymond Carver was a poet and writer living in Port Townsend, Washington while I was still in Seattle. He died in 1988. I discovered him through a friend who owned a small poetry press in the same town. Scott published works by Tess Gallagher, the “good woman” Carver refers to in this poem. I love his concept of “gravy”. It’s exactly how I feel after hemorrhaging.
No other word will do. For that’s what it was. Gravy.
Gravy, these past ten years.
Alive, sober, working, loving, and
being loved by a good woman. Eleven years
ago he was told he had six months to live
at the rate he was going. And he was going
nowhere but down. So he changed his ways
somehow. He quit drinking! And the rest?
After that it was all gravy, every minute
of it, up to and including when he was told about,
well, some things that were breaking down and
building up inside his head. “Don’t weep for me,”
he said to his friends. “I’m a lucky man.
I’ve had ten years longer than I or anyone
expected. Pure Gravy. And don’t forget it.”
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