My sorrow's flower was so small a joy It took a winter seeing to see it as such. Numb, unsteady, stunned at all the evidence Of winter's blind imperative to destroy, I looked up, and saw the bare abundance Of a tree whose every limb was lined with snow. What I was seeing then I did not quite know But knew that one mite more would have been too much.
Dawn is a dog's yawn, space in bed where a body should be, a nectared yard, night surviving in wires through which what voices, what needs already move--and the mind nibbling, nibbling at Nothingness like a mouse at cheese:
Sometimes one has the sense that to say the name God is a great betrayal, but whether one is betraying God, language, or one's self is harder to say.
Gone for the day, she is the day opening in and around me like flowers she planted in our yard. Christ. Not flowers. Gone for the day, she is the day razoring in with the Serbian roofers, and ten o'clock tapped exactly by the one bad wheel of the tortilla cart, and the newborn's noonday anguish eased. And the tide the mind makes of traffic and the bite of reality that brings it back. And the late afternoon afterlight in which a much-loved dog lies like a piece of precocious darkness lifting his ears at threats, treats, comings, goings . . .
* To love is to feel your death given to you like a sentence, to meet the judge's eyes as if there were a judge, as if he had eyes, and love.
This poem appears in Wiman’s Every Riven Thing (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).