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More Blessed to Receive


ISSUE:  Autumn 1984

I’ve bent over them in the dark,
straddling model train tracks—
bright slivers of moonlight—and Bear,
abandoned on his back, glassy-eyed.
They don’t know I come in
to mend the broken track
and return Bear to the pillow
and to ask their forgiveness again—
and still they come without fail
at dawn, stumbling down the hall
and into my bed to nest.

*  *  *

More than anything I care for you
she said over the sink, and then
I knew all those times I couldn’t hear.
It made me smile and start to cry.
I cried into the waffle mix,
in front of my children looking up
asking why a man cries about waffles.
What could be more perfect
than arms around my neck
and small ones clutching my knees?
I couldn’t give the love away
and for once I didn’t try.

*  *  *

So this is the truth: breath enters me
as freely as crickets fill the field.
The field waits and they do come
and both are changed together. Crickets
scrape, the ground holds their singing;
breath rasps, the body holds a song.
I will wait longer, to discover the poem
that’s always been so: I can do nothing—
and am still made complete.

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