Poem: Annunciation

Tracy K. Smith

I feel ashamed, finally,
Of our magnificent paved roads,
Our bridges slung with steel,
Our vivid glass, our tantalizing lights,
Everything enhanced, rehearsed,
A trick. I’ve turned old. I ache most
To be confronted by the real,
By the cold, the pitiless, the bleak.
By the red fox crossing a field
After snow, by the broad shadow
Scraping past overhead.
My young son, eyes set
At an indeterminate distance,
Ears locked, tuned inward, caught
In some music only he has ever heard.
Not our cars, our electronic haze.
Not the piddling bleats and pings
That cause some hearts to race.
Ashamed. Like a pebble, hard
And small, hoping only to be ground to dust
By something large and strange and cruel.