And then there was the nothing that is something else.
We saw what was created and could not be entirely
Displeased. It was good in its way, the morphine drip
Unhooked, the blood bags and oxygen removed.
In the beginning, we had not wanted this night.
Earth was enough, lichen clinging to its rock,
Worm snug in its wormhole. We loved our image,
Our dominion over every creeping thing.
Were we misled? Did we misunderstand the gift?
Who said we should just let her go, let her drift down
An uncharted river and call it good, a blessing
From God. This much at first, absence of pain.
And then, day returning to day, night to night,
A fitful peace descending on the plains as the storm
Edged across the mountain clefts, hurling
Its lightning elsewhere, and we were alone.
Teresa Cader teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Lesley University. Her books include History of Hurricanes (2009), The Paper Wasp (1999), and Guests (1991). She has won the Norma Farber First Book Award, The Journal Award in Poetry, two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the George Bogin Memorial Award, and fellowships from the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe, Bread Loaf, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the MacDowell Colony. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Slate, The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, Harvard Review, AGNI, and elsewhere. (updated 10/2011)
Cader’s The Paper Wasp was reviewed in AGNI 51 by Larissa Szporluk.