Winter Light

by Thomas Zimmerman

If suffering’s our only certainty,
if winter light cannot ignite our souls
to rise above these self-tormenting roles
we play adroitly, we must learn to be

at peace with God, the gods, our lot. Our lives
are not a Bergman film: we haven’t yelled,
“I do not understand You!” to the held-
back warmth of sunlit skies till faith arrives.

Instead, we’ve found for our salvation—work,
compensatory purchases of goods
and services that make us yearn for more,

a sense of indignation hard to shirk.
Now night is falling on our neighborhoods,
and who will trust the stranger at the door?


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