by Teresa Cader
And then there was the nothing that is something else.
We saw what was created and could not be entirely
Displeased. It was good in its way, the morphine drip
Unhooked, the blood bags and oxygen removed.
In the beginning, we had not wanted this night.
Earth was enough, lichen clinging to its rock,
Worm snug in its wormhole. We loved our image,
Our dominion over every creeping thing.
Were we misled? Did we misunderstand the gift?
Who said we should just let her go, let her drift down
An uncharted river and call it good, a blessing
From God. This much at first, absence of pain.
And then, day returning to day, night to night,
A fitful peace descending on the plains as the storm
Edged across the mountain clefts, hurling
Its lightning elsewhere, and we were alone.
Teresa Cader’s first book, Guests, won the Journal Award in Poetry from the Ohio State University Press in 1991 and the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. Her second book, The Paper Wasp, was published by TriQuarterly Books (Northwestern University Press) in 1999, and its major sequence won the George Bogin Memorial Award. (2001)