Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Little Testament

Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

Little Testament

Article excerpt

Sure as that first command which strung the light

like thread onto a loom

to stitch the finished tapestry of sight,

he flips a switch and instantly the room

reweaves its intricacies

of warp and weft: chair canted against the wall,

nightstand strewn with coins and papers, shawl

draping one lamp whose shadow like a stain

has inched up to the brink

of his rucked sheets, over the herringbone grain

and knots of hardwood where he sees

the nicks and scuffs no brilliance can appall.

Soon he will shuffle down the hall

past photos of his elsewhere son and daughter

to lean over the face of the gray water

dappled with lather in the bathroom sink,

then round the narrow stairs

to where, tie brushing the granite countertop,

he will raise the bounty of his coffee cup

and break his crustless toast alone,

foreseeing the martyrdom of that day's affairs:

the dolorous road to work, the bills and rent. …

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