A Glimpse of My Bright Life in the Morning

Christmas, 2007 / No. 19

I catch a glimpse of my bright life in the morning,

before I begin, it looks like a small dog

up at me to ask which way to go, as I bend

to put on shoes. I step on it for the first

time that day going out the door, then it sees

where we’re going—to the office to know

only certain kinds of corners, sharp metal gods

the size of filing cabinets, each day a bundle

of time dropped like a newspaper on my step

and layered so similarly, down to the mall at lunch

(garbage can, bench, plant, bench, garbage can).

I see a man caught in the eye of a camera.

He watches himself on TV, raises an arm,

at last reflected in the face that means so much.

Somehow sad, wrapped in the flag of a trench coat.

I look back, see he’s still caught in the spell,

step out to get the brochure reminder: except a man

be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

And the man who misses the garbage, keeps going,

takes one small piece of my hope, but I get it back

from the crooked wave of a co-worker I like.

At home I get in the door, catch another look

as my life reappears, and like a wet dog,

shakes itself off. Covered in pins, useless notes,

it looks up at me again. I’m tired, I say.