What Now, Praying?

Feb 24, 2017

Today’s poem is What now, Praying? by Kimberly Cloutier Green. Kimberly is the author of a poetry chapbook, What Becomes of Words and a full length collection The Next Hunger.  She lives in Kittery Point, Maine and served as Poet Laureate of the City of Portsmouth, NH. 

She’s writes about the poem: “I recall (distinctly) the morning it describes. I was beginning to understand that I was crossing a kind of threshold—from one way of encountering and responding to the world to another. That crossing did not happen in one morning, of course. But on the morning this poem describes, I woke from a grief-filled dream to that quiet, sun-drenched room, and felt overcome by the sweetness of living, the awareness of my own and the world’s fragility and resilience all at once… and had the sense that I was praying.”

What Now, Praying?
Kimberly Cloutier Green

Heart, you softy, you sap—you’re getting fat,
breaking into dumbfounded tears in your sleep
and waking bedazzled by ordinary light,
the old cat in a heap of dreams beside you.

There was a time I hardly knew you
were there—thin as air!—
cool customer, smart answer.

Now you babble like a fool,
you’re a thief in my throat—
I can’t tell anymore where joy gives way
to grief and grief to joy.

Sack in my chest, common store of wishbones,
see how you greet the day?
Leaving the house in slippers?
Opening wider as if you could bear more?

Poem copyright © 2013 by Kimberly Cloutier Green.
Reprinted from The Next Hunger, Bauhan Publishing, by permission of Kimberly Cloutier Green.