Reaching the Awe Sound

Matt Hart

        And I’ll try to live defeated
        Come and see
        The Good in everything
        Outside animals sound
        Come and see
        Then lead us all to heaven
       —“Come and See,” Protomartyr

Here and now, this blue winter sky,
                                      and outside a light
the windows of the houses
                             and the windows of the cars
I walk out on the porch, and my glasses
                                                                      fog up
I start my car to make things warm
Voices swirl around, as a white-muzzled dog
trots by in this marvel of everything good
Back inside with the radio on, the word
in the air is terrorist suspects, videos
of child soldiers executing spies     I wrestle
the juice from an orange
                         in my mouth
I read the beginning of “Song of Myself ”
The price of petroleum, a coming election,
a stepped-on spear of dead winter grass
                                        I do not loafe       I lean
on the counter and call for my daughter
She puts her small self in a puffy blue coat
I put my small self in a black wool sweater
                                           I drive her to school
                                                           with the radio off
She spells words with the “awe” sound
                in them,
divides by 9’s from 108      
At the drop off spot
she gets out of the car      “I love you,” I say,
                                           “I’ll be back to pick you up”
And when she shuts the door, I turn the radio on
Then I turn it back off         
At home Greek yogurt
                             with pistachios and pecans      a little honey
                                            I drink life down
                              to a hot cup of coffee
This soft daily?ness, my ordinary “yawp”
                                                                     and “drawer”
                                                                     and “author”
                                                                     and “oft”
This picture of heaven, where there isn’t any heaven
                               is as good a place as any
                                               to begin to make a heaven
                 “Either we give ourselves to a course of action,
or we do not give ourselves,” wrote
                                      William Carlos Williams
The rest of the day, I’m mostly messed up
I go “on my nerve”“I celebrate myself ”
I burn through the world with my hands held out
                                                   Heaven with the radio off