From a Window
by Christian Wiman, from Every Riven Thing
as if the leaves had livelier ghosts.
I pressed my face as close
to the pane as I could get
to watch that fitful, fluent spirit
that seemed a single being undefined
or countless beings of one mind
haul its strange cohesion
beyond the limits of my vision
over the house heavenwards.
Of course I knew those leaves were birds.
Of course that old tree stood
exactly as it had and would
(but why should it seem fuller now?)
and though a man's mind might endow
even a tree with some excess
of life to which a man seems witness,
that life is not the life of men.
And that is where the joy came in.
- "A Call to Doubt and Faith: Christian Wiman on Remembering God," On Being, May 23, 2013
- "Poet Christian Wiman on Love, Faith, and Cancer," Moyers & Company
- Poems, articles, and more by Christian Wiman, Poetry Foundation