Wednesday Poem

The Reform of the Calendar

The story we learned from the Weekly Reader as children
was tabloid bluster. There were no mobs, no riots,
no shouting about the theft of eleven days.
Nothing was really lost, they understood that.

The almanacs and newspapers of the time
show us how clear and orderly it was:
The reader will observe, that the day which follows
the second of this month is placed as the 14th,
and is to be so esteemed.

………………………………….All very simple.
Essays had run in the Gentlemen's Magazine.
Chesterfield had stood in the House of Lords
on March 18th, 1751,
and talked of science, commerce, the practical need
to deal with the rest of the world now, to move on.
Not even a nod to the past, the dangerous passions.

And all has been calm since then, all science and order.
We fall in line with the cosmos, leap-seconds added
or taken away. Our machines adjust in silence,

although we might, as we scrawl a date on a check
or stand at a sink and hear the radio speak it
(the month an ancient god, the mystical number)
still feel the murmurings of an old unrest.

by Maryann Corbett
from Astropoetica, Spring, 2010