Today's poem is by Sarah Arvio


For Susanna Moore

Freud had offered common unhappiness
but I know I wanted uncommon joy;
godly or ghostly, what help could be had,

was there a helping hand, was there a god.
There was grace, the only cure for grief,
the submissions to the heart of your god,

to the heart or hand of a friend or god,
some giving in, the gift of giving in,
as common as the grackles and starlings,

As though hello could be a harbinger,
as though happiness could be happenstance,
saying holiday, saying holy day,

something lifting in the house of the heart.
And did I have a star, did I have a grail,
did I have the necessary grotto,

the grassy knoll, the grove, the granite bench,
for making my anguish into a wish,
for turning grief into grotesqueries—

meaning shape-shifters, meaning shadow art,
or hilarity in the house of god,
of god or the kings, that was my own house

if you believe the "thou" of the Quakers.
And all things that might shake or might quake,
as things did when they came into their own,

quiver and quake, and open in the air,
or burst a bud, or break an egg or seal,
or shake a frisky tail, or wave a crown.

Copyright © 2006 Sarah Arvio All rights reserved
from Southwest Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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