God the Broken Lock
I've died enough by now I trust
just what's imperfect or ruined.I mean God,
God who is in the stop sign
asking to be shotgunned, the ocean that evaporates even
as we float.God the bent nail & broken lock,
and God the hangnail.The hangnail.
And a million others might be like me, our hopes
a kind of illegal entry, a belief in smashed windows,
like breaking & entering into a concert hall,
the place my friend & I crawled into an air shaft, & later
fell asleep.After breakage
there is always sleep.
We woke to gospel hymns from the dressing room
below, songs commending
embrace to the fists, & return to the prodigal.
And hasn't my luck always been a shadow, stepping out, stretching?
I mean I trust what breaks.
A broken bone elicits condolence,
and the phone call sounds French if the transmission fritzes,
and our brains--our blessed, desirable brains--are composed
of infinitesimal magnets, millions of them
a billionth-of-a-milligram in weight, so
they make us knock our heads against hard walls.
When we pushed through the air vent,
the men singing seemed only a little surprised,
just slightly freaked,
three of them in black tuxes, & the fourth in red satin,
crimson, lit up like a furnace trimmed with paisley swirls,
the furnace of a planet, or of a fatalistic ocean liner
crisscrossing a planet we've not discovered yet,
a fire you might love to be thrown into.
That night they would perform the songs half
the country kept on its lips half of every day.
Songs mostly praising or lamenting or accusing some loved one
of some beautiful, horrendous betrayal or affection.
But dressing, between primping & joking about
their thinning afros, they sang of Jesus.Jesus,
who said, "Split a stick, & you shall find me inside."
It was the winter we put on asbestos gloves, & flameproof
stuck our hands in the fireplace, adjusting logs.
Jesus, we told them, left no proof of having sung a single note.
And that, said the lead singer, is why we are all sinners.
What he meant was
we are all like the saints on my neighbors' lawns--
whose plaster shoulders & noses,
chipped cloaks & tiaras, have to be bundled
in plastic sheets, each winter, blanketed
from the wind & the cold.That was what he meant,
though I couldn't know it then.
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (God the Broken Lock by David Rivard )
- The Swing, Harold R Hunt Sr
- The old water tower., Harold R Hunt Sr
- Comforted, Lawrence S. Pertillar
- Taken you back in time., Harold R Hunt Sr
- Joe, Harold R Hunt Sr
- Lifting Blinders, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Then I Had None, Harold R Hunt Sr
- America, Harold R Hunt Sr
- A Darkened Beauty, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Contemplation-6, another key...., Marshall Gass
Poem of the Day
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
- Heather Burns
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)