A Poem by Brenda Hillman
"Winter Song for One Who Suffers"
November 30, 2020
Published in the The New Yorker print edition of the December 7, 2020 issue.
The stars stand up
behind the day. A known dove balances
on its claw
at the window. A cosmic incident
of darkness has begun
& a mild excess of beauty will be offered to the dead, which they will eat. On a hill
the wise man serves the people, your thought splits in half when he speaks of the old revolts, the return of apocalypse, motive & advancement.
A soul can crouch a long time while the heart expands to reach its edges. What is missing past the glitter of the harvest? Friend, you chose to live. How? You did. So many choices, not just two, encrypted behind the mystery of the sun,
then the hurt was set aside, indeterminate chaos called in by love.