Tuesday, April 2, 2013

we go forward - anne compton

We go forward by grace days. A phalanx of survivors.
On either side, the Inscrutable lays a hand on some friend.
Wrestles him to the ground, stops her dead. This is not an elegy.
Though we sign the air with ceremony, hands and heart in slow motion,
our feet don't stop: we're already crossing the border into tomorrow.
More of everything is what we want. We're greedy. Glad to be left
standing. When we glance behind in grief, we're afoot in a changed world
and isn't it every day? Altered, larger somehow, and we're allowed.
That's what's amazing. And what's on our minds every morning?
Prevent us, O Lord, not from sin -- we stir the dust of it with every footfall --
but from nonchalance: a look unanswered, a kiss unrequited. Someone else
in our arms. And though words can't compass this tender of days,
let the one word be yes even if every step away concurs, Be it so.
Consider the foot, beloved, the hold it has on here.

Compton, Anne. "We Go Forward" Modern Canadian Poets. Jones, Evan and Todd Swift, eds. Manchester: Carcanet Press Limited, 2010. 152-3.