one for alice

(for Alice Bridgwood)

At some point, we simply say to hell with it:

Whether undone by the shortcomings at our craft

Or by the simple bulk of our mere humanity,

We come to the conclusion that certain mysteries of the universe

Shall remain exactly that—oh, we’ll still have

The odd glimpse of the Platonic, the flicker of epiphany

Bestowed upon us a few frames at a time, grainy and Zapruder-esque,

But, by and large, we will remain sheepish as television weathermen who,

Though ostensibly trained to understand the behaviors

Of sluggish storms making their way lugubriously from the Southwest

Or brisk mid-February Alberta lows,

Must admit they, too, were wholly bamboozled

By the sudden rains or foot-plus of snow.


What, then, do we make of one

To whom the inscrutable calculus of the spheres

Is an open book, as simple as connect-the-dots

Or a child’s paint-by-numbers (but augmented with shading and shadow

Until the picture is not simple rote coloring

But something else, something finer and all her own),

Whose words move us to follow where she leads,

Like medieval peasants, dirt poor and bewitched, who flocked to the Holy Land

Following the charismatic little shepherd child,

All hayseed and bucolic charm (and yet all of that

Simply myth arriving whole cloth, all sloppy scholarship and errant translation;

She’d have sussed it in an instant), hoping that some smattering of his Grace

Would trickle down upon them, not unlike the prayer of the farmer who,

His lands parched and salted, hearing thunderstorms,

Rumbling in terrible grandeur in the distance,

Hopes the odd drop or two reaches his fields.


One thought on “one for alice

  1. Would Alice’s words stop lemmings from jumping?
    She sounds pretty powerful.

    By the way, I like the line about the medieval peasants. I’ve been thinking lately of writing a book about a medieval embroiderer who lived in England around 1077 or so.

    Thank you for your kindness and wit, left for me to enjoy.
    Happy New Year to you, too!

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