sunday, december 12

"i love the world", a good friend wrote to me not so long ago.

this december sunday, the shoddy walls
of a huge apartment that i think never would
feel very much like home
rattle in a cold wind

not very far to the north of here
bland and unremarkable housing
gives way to the more subtle constructions
of this america - fields, fencelines,
shelterbelts and groves
gravel county roads and state highways
narrow in the headlights

(drive past the edges of your cities and towns
and out into the twilight middle winter world:
can you tell how much our peoples' coming
has altered this landscape?
how extensive the projects of agriculture
and mass transit have broken and recast
older living patterns?)

all these no less the products of industry
but spread across far more ground
hewn closer to the underlying shape.

the underneath bleeds always through
the over top: though it may be hard to notice
no matter how we push and pull the world
beginnings are important
and transformation will always
lie uneasy with our expectations.

this is what drives my hopes and fears:
i fear that my failures and weaknesses
are the stuff of permanence
but i hope for a world where the reality
i sometimes apprehend bleeds through
all the things our misunderstanding has ever built.