Maria Hummel

Fear of Wonder

I want to be the people
in the architect’s model
faceless shapely always
striding beside the brilliant
walls girders machines halls
the architect wants us to notice
but he can’t show empty
because then we won’t
see ourselves within it
just as we don’t acknowledge
the cliff edge until sneakers
stubbed against stone we fight
our own tumble into oblivion
& awe draws the precipice for us
mighty and the earth a dark
planet with fire at its heart
I was talking to a friend
about this & we both admitted
we’d driven the long treelined
road & wondered about
twisting the wheel & our fear
was not of the twist but of
the wonder the ability to be
any self suicidal murdering
adulterous the man who
committed the woman who
severed the child who touched
the live––so why wonder at all?
we can’t help it we see
a window & have to imagine
our reflection across it
twenty-three wind-blown
& right after a laugh & what if
death is just like that
before you know it fully
an empty glass waiting
& you a silent movie
of something pouring out

Maria Hummel
Poem, copyright © 2004 by Maria Hummel
Appearing on From the Fishouse with permission
Audio file, copyright © 2004, From the Fishouse