The clouds, pregnant with rain. No light
but an inkling of light. If Advent is a time
of waiting, of joyful anticipation, why are we
so often troubled? Consider Mary, the unknown
future she holds. Or Amy, staying the day
with D—, expecting in January, alone and now
spotting with unexpected blood, baby not yet
ready. What was our life before children? Years
of memories now include the children—as if they
already were born, only we could not see them.
Mary was “greatly troubled.” What burden of light
do we bear? Something in us and not us,
in which we see ourselves and those we love,
and something else, beyond all naming?
Philip Metres’ most recent collections of poems are A Concordance of Leaves and abu ghraib arias. He teaches at John Carroll University near Cleveland.