Grace Paley


If you have acquired a taste for happiness
            it’s very hard to do without
so you try jollity for a while

Song is one of the famous methods
for continuing or entrenching happiness

You may say    what
about sex         is it its own
keen pleasure or according to some
           the night’s sorrow

Here is another example of ordinary joy
it is prose   but uses whole days and nights
      the gathering together of comrades
      in bitter disagreement    then resolution
      followed by determined action

Still    the face of life will change
partly because of those miserable scratches it makes
on its own aging surface
in the risky busy labor of Repair the World
after which   for the unsated      there will surely be
talking all night    dances in schoolrooms and kitchens
            and later
of happiness   the most famous of all