Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Speed of Belief by Tracy K Smith (poem)

I didn't want to wait on my knees
In a room made quiet by waiting.
 
A room where we'd listen for the rise
Of breath, the burble in his throat.
 
I didn't want the orchids or the trays
Of food meant to fortify that silence,
 
Or to pray for him to stay or to go then
Finally toward that ecstatic light
 
I didn't want to believe
What we believe in those rooms:
 
That we are blessed, letting go,
Letting someone, anyone,
 
Drag open the drapes and heave us
Bak into our blinding, bright lives
 
When your own sweet father died
You woke before first light
And ate half a plate of eggs and grits,
And Drank a glass of milk.
 
After  you'd left, I sat in your place
And finished  the toast bits with jam
And the cold eggs, the thick bacon
Flanged in fat , savoring the taste.
 
Then I slept, too young to know how narrow
And grave the road before you seemed---
All the houses zipped tight , the night's
Few clouds muddy as cold coffee.
 
You stayed gone a week, and who were we
Without your clean profile nicking away
At anything that made us afraid?
One neighbor  sent a cake. We ate
 
The baked chickens , the honey hams.
We bowed our heads and prayed
You'd come back safe,
Knowing you would.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Speed of Belief by Tracy K Smith (poem)

I didn't want to wait on my knees
In a room made quiet by waiting.
 
A room where we'd listen for the rise
Of breath, the burble in his throat.
 
I didn't want the orchids or the trays
Of food meant to fortify that silence,
 
Or to pray for him to stay or to go then
Finally toward that ecstatic light
 
I didn't want to believe
What we believe in those rooms:
 
That we are blessed, letting go,
Letting someone, anyone,
 
Drag open the drapes and heave us
Bak into our blinding, bright lives
 
When your own sweet father died
You woke before first light
And ate half a plate of eggs and grits,
And Drank a glass of milk.
 
After  you'd left, I sat in your place
And finished  the toast bits with jam
And the cold eggs, the thick bacon
Flanged in fat , savoring the taste.
 
Then I slept, too young to know how narrow
And grave the road before you seemed---
All the houses zipped tight , the night's
Few clouds muddy as cold coffee.
 
You stayed gone a week, and who were we
Without your clean profile nicking away
At anything that made us afraid?
One neighbor  sent a cake. We ate
 
The baked chickens , the honey hams.
We bowed our heads and prayed
You'd come back safe,
Knowing you would.

.

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