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The simple power of grace

by Michael Joyce

We sit awaiting the snowstorm the day after Christmas
upon the same sofa where we sat last night, lost
in our individual thoughts. “What are you thinking?”
she asks but I can not reply beyond a thin smile,
caught by a clear memory of a particular intersection,
where Slottsgränd meets Kungsängsgatan in Uppsala,
the streetscape in sunlight but unlinked to any event,
just a place I have been at different times: on the way
to the supermarket, to the station and thence to Stockholm,
or to Systembaloget, the state liquor store, for Ripasso;
or the time we went looking for vintage black-tie regalia,
stopping for sushi after none of the faded tailcoats fit.
None of this remarkable, save the vividness of the vision,
how it came to mind just after reading a meditation upon
the silence of god, and how happy it made me in aftermath,
the sense of an ordinary place upon this earth.


Michael Joyce’s poems and translations have been published in Beloit Poetry Journal, FOLLY, Gastronomica, The Iowa Review, Metamorphoses, New Letters, nor/, Notre Dame Review, and elsewhere. His book-length sequence of poems, Paris Views, was published by BlazeVOX in 2012. (7/2012)

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