At the Window

At a Window
by Carl Sandburg

Give me hunger,
O you gods that sit and give
The world its orders.
Give me hunger, pain and want,
Shut me out with shame and failure
From your doors of gold and fame,
Give me your shabbiest, weariest hunger!

But leave me a little love,
A voice to speak to me in the day end,
A hand to touch me in the dark room
Breaking the long loneliness.
In the dusk of day-shapes
Blurring the sunset,
One little wandering, western star
Thrust out from the changing shores of shadow.
Let me go to the window,
Watch there the day-shapes of dusk
And wait and know the coming
Of a little love.

(Public domain)



I’ve written and deleted so much blather about windows these past few days.

It’s hard to gather all the loose ends of my thoughts into something — anything, really — that makes sense.

I love this picture I took two summers ago when the milk house was being torn down. One window remained of the broken down building. It had the prettiest view over the valley.

Roger Bacon said,

Prosperity is the blessing of the Old Testament; adversity is the blessing of the New, which carrieth the greater benediction, and the clearer revelation of God’s favor.

The world is so broken.

Yet somehow, in the midst of it, or over it all, a great benediction is being whispered — and it’s that little bit of love. That hand that reaches in to touch me in my dark room, breaking my loneliness.


Now I look through a dirty pane
Where cobwebs
and
The dust of the world
Blur my view

I rub at it
With my fingers
And though my hands
Come away dirty
The grime on the glass remains

If I but drop my eyes
No glass obscures my view

And to my right
A larger scene awaits

Overhead
The sun
(so bright I dassn’t look)
Shines
and
Brightens the whole world:
The valley
The river
The barn on the horizon

Yet I squint
At my dirty pane
Wishing I could see more

6 thoughts on “At the Window

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  2. Something deep inside me responded so profoundly to this piece … the opening poem, your prose and the closing verse that I now have tears coursing down my cheeks. I guess it’s a yearning for that hand …. thank you

    • If only you knew how many many words I deleted and rewrote and deleted some more, until finally I felt like, imperfect as it is, it’s better than nothing. I was very tempted to put Carl Sandburg’s poem up and leave it at that. šŸ™‚

      Thanks for your kind words.

      • Oddly when I saw that challenge I came up with a couple of ideas, started to write them, discarded them, thought I would just post a lyric from a song (and the song as a bonus) and be done with it and then decided that I was better walking away. Chapeau to you for sticking with it and coming up with such a lovely result

  3. Pingback: Windows: AED aka Defibrillator | What's (in) the picture?

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