If it comes at all,
to save what is left of your life,
it comes as the familiar ghost
of a hope.
It is an unconsidered thing,
as old-fashioned as snow in winter,
as daily as the light you ignore
until it speaks to you.
In the poor part of town,
you pass a wretched house, a home,
the clapboards weathered to apple-green
peeling to dirty white.
The picket fence in front
is a crotchety row of sticks.
On the rotted sill of the window
snow scrolls against the glass.
In the window
the lady has hung her lace curtain,
the net embroidered across the top
with a floral border.
In this arbor,
trailing its bridal tail
over a crochet fence,
a white peacock stands
to ask in what hope
to forgive the suffering
will you live?
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 3 Number 7, on page 44
Copyright © 2020 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com