Poem: A Strange Kind of Miracle

West Pawlet.jpg

A Strange Kind of Miracle.

Coffee.
Bacon.
A couple of eggs, over medium.
A soda for dessert.

Time.
Background noise.
Background music.
Breakfast.

It is when and where I write.
At a tiny diner in a tiny town.
Not at all the kind of place I grew up in.
No, I was a creature of city and suburbs.
This is where I write, but not today,
with its foot of snow and cold.
Today you write at your kitchen table
in the village you have made home.

The village has maybe 300 people
if you count the farmers at each edge.
Too many of the houses are empty
waiting for the slow drudge of foreclosure.

You live across from an abandoned quarry.
There is a church down the road,
and an old schoolhouse.
Nothing is open except the post office.
and in the next town, a diner.

On a clear night, you can see the Milky Way.
You can hear the wind echoing in the quarry.
You can hear the coyotes,
You can hear the crackle of your fire pit.

It is a good place.
A place largely abandoned by politics and people.
Too far from anything.
Too little work to pay the bills.
You can get everything you want, but only if you travel
an hour in any direction.

I came here for love.
and in the end, found it.
Not where and how I expected.
And yet, here I am,
living in the center of quiet
while the world rages.

Perhaps I am strange.
A refuge of another age, too comfortable in silence.
It is the place you find God and yourself,
two ends of a spectrum.

Snow falls.
And the village becomes even quieter.
You are home bound for a day or two.
Nothing to do but read,
curl up to the woman you love,
and be.

It is not the life most would choose.
You yourself, decades ago, would not have chosen this.
But fate and other people’s anger brought you here,
a strange kind of miracle full of healing
and treasures you never expected.

So let the snow fall.
Let it pile high and bind you to your old miner’s house.
Life is good
despite itself.

About this poem

The picture is of my little village of West Pawlet, VT., taken during a snow smaller than this last one.

I do consider the life I have here a miracle. God is good, even when the getting there seems to indicate otherwise.

Tom

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