The lights topping the hill tease you.
You stamp in the wet snow, blow into your hands.
Buses pass, full, or turn off.
Your eyes read the narrow horizon again
and again like one book in a jail cell
or a buick ad in a magazine in an outer office
where you wait
while your child waits at home
and squeezes the cat.
Finally you close them and think
of Merton watching from his cinderblock doorway
the starless dark ruminating down the hills,
the shadows crawling out of rocks
like relatives gathering.
Merton and the purples of evening
come now with raised brows and comic mouths,
with hands shaking you like a father
shaking you awake.
Michael Lauchlan lived near the Catholic Worker house in Detroit and works with low-income families when this article appeared. "All the Mondays in Advent," which first appeared in Corridors, is included in his new book, And the Business Goes to Pieces (Fallen Angel Press, 1981).