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Two Poems by Christian Wiman

August 11, 2011 by Reader's Connection

Hard Night



Christian Wiman´s poems “Sleeping in the Open” and “Rhymes for a Watertower” are being reprinted from his collection Hard Night (©2005) by permission of Copper Canyon Press.








Sleeping in the Open

The touch that for one moment seemed
Her touch recovered in his dream

Is as he wakes only the wind
Moving over his bare skin

And through the single towering tree
That seems to rouse, seems a body

Responding and subsiding now
As if the years had taught it how

To be both taken and to stay
By being inward and away

Whenever stirred by a real wind.
Even the strongest of them end.


Rhymes for a Watertower

A town so flat a grave’s a hill,
           A dusk the color of beer.
A row of schooldesks shadows fill,
           A row of houses near.

A courthouse spreading to its lawn,
           A bank clock’s lingering heat.
A gleam of storefronts not quite gone,
           A courthouse in the street.

A different element, almost,
           A dry creek brimming black.
A light to lure the darkness close,
           A light to keep it back.

A time so still a heart´s a sound,
           A moon the color of skin.
A pumpjack bowing to the ground,
           Again, again, again.



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