The Sorrow of God
A Morning Poem
for Robert Bly
I awake at dawn to a day of frozen sleet,
A cold day at the end of February
With the mountain’s face buried in cloud.
It’s so early no one else seems to be up;
Then I hear a car start, its engine warming
By the house next door. Silently the mists lift.
I read last night that a moment of sorrow
Preceded creation, that act that summoned
The Earth into being, and us with it.
The house finches have already returned;
I see them waiting on the telephone wire.
My neighbour enters his car and drives off.
My mountain ash stands locked in a ring of ice,
But the night’s wind has dropped to nothing.
Later, I suspect, this ice will melt.
The day’s still quiet, my children asleep
In their rooms under the eaves. And I cannot
In my moment of time believe in a god of sorrow.