Today's poem is by Sandra Kohler


Surprise always, the day wakes us, the dream,
the night. The hard knock of rain against rattling
casements or the light's slow filtering beneath
shuttered blackness. The new lies on the old, with
the old, like the telling trail of river fog through
autumn's hard sharp air, speaking its gray name
along a whole horizon. What we reclaim is never
open as what we desire. You dream the house you
are looking at will not suit: it has low ceilings and
you will never give up your high rooms. This is
a fable you have decided to live in, inscribed in
your own hand. But the one written for you, in
a scrawl you can't decipher, an alphabet that seems
unfamiliar, is a darker story, richer. It can sustain
the lowest ceiling of all, a coffin, or open to a depth
you've not begun to imagine. Summons will come
soon enough, rough and brutish as the touch of
winter. What you will do when the phone rings,
the doorbell, you still don't know, though you
have rehearsed this scene before yesterday's vain
mirror and the damning glass of tomorrow.
The morning star has disappeared, sun is a faint
rumor. What won't marry maybe, when refuses
the petition of why. How will you know this place
when you come to it again? By the hard knock of
rain, the rough touch of winter, the glint of light
off wires that string one pole to another, a web
broken and incomplete as anyone's life.

Copyright © 2011 Sandra Kohler All rights reserved
from American Poetry Journal
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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