A Poem for Sunday morning by Robin Behn

Discover Something New Every Day: The Challenge

Yellow Morning

She awoke deep into the morning,
forgiving words,

Forgiving how they want to make
the whole world one color.

Forgiving how that color is loneliness incarnate.
Forgiving how they persist,

building themselves an altar
peopled with people, thinged with things,

and touched, sun or no sun, with sun:
she awoke so deep into the morning

time had gone pungent and dim
like the smell of an old locked trunk

stirred by a slow ray of light,

This is the dream of the woman,
and this is the dream about the woman

another woman, her/no-her,
woke in the middle of, and wept.

Outside, a fledgling
—filthy lump upon a wet, black bough—

punctured daylight with its high cry,
the sound of it shredding time

—a nest, a nest, a nest—
until an adult the color of blood

appeared and put his blunt beak down
into the tiny throat.

But then it woke again,
not trusting the dream of trust,

and cried, and cried-and-cried
—for-SA-ken, for-SA-ken—

so that an adult the color of blood rolled in the earth
appeared and put her whole blunt beak

down into the throat and held it there
the length of time it takes

in love, for the grail to be passed,
and then, and then, it could sleep.

Who fed the birds?
It happened outside of words.

Black Oil Sunflower Seed?
Whatever. A need.

Robin Behn, from Evensong: Contemporary American Poets on Spirituality, Gerry LaFemina and Chad Prevost, eds. Bottom Dog Press, 2006.


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