Thursday, March 22, 2018

March 22: A Cardinal, Charles Simic, "Seeing Things"

Seeing Things

by:  Charles Simic

I came here in my youth,
A wind toy on a string.
Saw a street in hell and one in paradise.
Saw a room with a light in it so ailing
It could've been leaning on a cane.
Saw an old man in a tailor shop
Kneel before a bride with pins between his lips.
Saw the President swear on the Bible
While snow fell around him.
Saw a pair of lovers kiss in an empty church
And a naked man run out of a building
Waving a gun and sobbing.
Saw kids wearing Halloween masks
Jump from one roof to another at sunset.
Saw a van full of stray dogs look back at me.
Saw a homeless woman berating God
And a blind man with a guitar singing:
"Oh Lord remember me,
When these chains are broken set my body free."


For the first time in a few weeks, nothing really calamitous has happened during my day.  I haven't had to deal with any crises.  No broken hearts to bandage.  No school principals to call.  No hospital rooms to visit.  Today has simply been . . . quiet.

I typed that word with a little trepidation, because the day is not over yet.  I still have to go to my daughter's choral concert.  My wife is at an appointment to get our taxes done--that in itself could turn the rest of this day to shit.  However, I am cautiously optimistic.  Very cautiously.

Charles Simic's poem is a list of wonders in a way.  Things that are everyday that don't happen every day.  It reminds me that, in the midst of struggle and worry, there is still a cardinal outside my window, begging to be noticed.

Saint Marty is looking for cardinals on this quiet night.

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