Sunday, August 28, 2005

This Morning

To see things as they are is hard,
But leaving them alone is harder;
Snow in patches in the yard,
The vacuum in the sky, and in the soul
The movements of temptation and refusal.
I felt a day break. Nothing happened.
The windows gave upon a street
Where cars drove by as usual to the faint,
Unearthly measures of a music
Whose evasions struggled to conceal a
Disappointment all the deeper that the
Hope was for a thing I knew to be unreal.
I can't do it yet. Perhaps no one can do it yet.
The unconstructed gaze is still a fiction
Of the heart, a hope that hides
The boring truth of life within the limits
Of the real, a life whose only heaven
Is the surface of a slowly turning globe.
Yet still I want to think I woke one day to —
To what? The crystal trees, an earthly silence
And the white, unbroken snow of a first morning?

John Koethe
The Kenyon Review
New Series, Volume XXVI Number 4
Fall 2004