Crystals of the Unforeseen
Title poem from a collection
In the thinning night the stars draw closer-- Children around a sickroom, whispering. Nobody ever knows what will happen... Even the window's being opened by A gust of wind was unexpected-- Death We wait for, but he lands disguised-- some Odysseus, some minor injury-- Delicate as a change in coloration, A knot hidden like a tiny island Under the untroubled sea of our skin, A ragged tremulo in our breathing. Every cut or bandaid, every bone we Gnaw clean during Tuesday dinner is A thin rubber band around our wrist-- Reminding us, so we stop on our way home, But can't remember whether to get milk Or dog food. No matter how we watch for him, Death just comes-- We hear a thump on our porch One night, and in the morning, there he is Like a free subscription, or a messenger From the king, with one glass slipper we need To try. And what are birds who slam into Our bayside windows, what are phone calls In the cutthroat hours, or the miniature Explosions which mark the end of light bulbs, What are the children we actually Wanted if not crystals of the unforeseen? So when love, that impecunious stranger Comes banging at our back door on his way To every back door in the neighborhood, Selling whatever it is he's selling, Looking for whoever's home with their checkbook, We're ready to spend, more than willing To buy the latest in magazines or Blenders, hot to give any God a chance.