Switched-on Gutenberg Issue 20
We Who Move
I fall asleep in a room high above the sea.
That night a storm blows in, with heavy rains,
lashing the house again and again.
Once the wind slams so hard the bed jumps.

This really happens: the frame shudders, then stills.

Sitting in my office talking with a student
I suddenly feel dizzy. Itís as if the building is swaying.
But then I realize, the building is swaying,
itís rocking, and the light hanging from the ceiling
is swinging back and forth, and itís as if
a wave of energy is rippling through the flooróno, is.

Sometimes it is not we who move.
Sometimes the angel really is an angel, not an allegory,
not a discourse, but with huge, dark wings,
heavy as suitcases, and my advice when an angel speaks
is to be very quiet. Hold very still.

If you sit long enough by a window,
early on a winter morning, you can see the moon
set into the dark trees, you can see it sink, very slowly,
every minute or so a little further, until finally
it disappears entirely, glowing in the tops of the fir.

Notice how the feathers overlap like herringbone.
Notice that Mary isnít holding a book.


Copyright 2014,  Chris Anderson

Chris Anderson is a professor of English at Oregon State University and a Catholic deacon. He has published a number of books. His second book of poems, The Next Thing Always Belongs, was published in 2011 by Airlie Press.

Background Photo: Balance Copyright 2014,  Gwendolyn Joyce Mintz

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