“Upon Discovering My Entire Solution to the Attainment of Immortality Erased from the Blackboard Except the Word ‘Save'” Commentary

¬†Upon Discovering My Entire Solution to the Attainment of Immortality Erased from the Blackboard Except the Word ‘Save’ by Dobby Gibson

If you have seen the snow
somewhere slowly fall
on a bicycle,
then you understand
all beauty will be lost
and that even loss
can be beautiful.
And if you have looked
at a winter garden
and seen not a winter garden
but a meditation on shape,
then you understand why
this season is not
known for its words,
the cold too much
about the slowing of matter,
not enough about the making of it.
So you are blessed
to forget this way:
jump rope in the ice melt,
a mitten that has lost its hand,
a sun that shines
as if it doesn’t mean it.
And if in another season
you see a beautiful woman
use her bare hands
to smooth wrinkles
from her expensive dress
for the sake of dignity,
but in so doing reveal
the outlines of her thighs,
then you will remember
surprise assumes a space
that has first been forgotten,
especially here, where we
rarely speak of it,
where we walk out onto the roofs
of frozen lakes
simply because we’re stunned
we really can.
——————

I have no idea how I found this poem. I recently rediscovered a folder on my computer called simply “Poems I Didn’t Write” and this poem was in it. Some of the other poems I remember discovering, this is not one of them. All I can tell you is Dobby Gibson is a poet and at some point this poem appealed to me for some reason, possibly because of the title. For that reason I can share it with you now.

I don’t know why exactly but this poem reminds of a day after school during high school. A boy in my class begged me to lend him a glove because he wanted to make a snowball but it was entirely too cold to do so without a gloved hand. At first I was reluctant but eventually I gave him the glove and it made me laugh because my gloves at that time were brown chenille with faux fur trim in a leopard print (I was still finding my style).

I am also quite taken with the entire idea of the poem–especially in the last lines about jumping not just because you can but because you’re so stunned that it’s really possible or allowed.