Crystals of the Unforeseen

Title poem from a collection
to be published later this year by

Plain View Press

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.

Lyn Coffin