My Punishment

Apr 20, 2018

Today’s poem is “My Punishment” by the late Vermont poet David Budbill. David was the author of ten books of poems, as well as novels, plays short stories, and a libretto for opera. His last book of poems Tumbling Toward the End, was published posthumously in 2017.

For many years David lived in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. There is much in common between our states. About his writing he said, “I’ve got a sense of humor and it always comes through. Any more than that, I cannot say.”

My Punishment
by David Budbill

I get up before the sun,
make a fire in the woodstove,
boil water, make tea,
watch the dawn come.
Then I get back in bed,
under the quilt,
propped up on my pillows,
read a little, drink tea
and stare out the window
at the snow coming down.
Oh, this lazybones life!

Others rush off to work while
I lie here in silence waiting for
a few words to come drifting
over from the Other Side.
No wonder I never make any money.
I am being punished
for having such a good time.

“My Punishment” from Happy Life.
Copyright © 2011 by David Budbill.
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.,
on behalf of Copper Canyon Press,
www.coppercanyonpress.org.