This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Jeffrey Essmann.                                                                                                                  

God gave me a bug

the clouds were gathering
at morning prayer
the world
and its absurdity
and pain
were closing in
so thick
and grey
the psalm could hardly breathe

then God gave me a bug
beside the candle
something many-legged
and steady
insistent in its vermin plod
in search of food
or home
or insect

it was
it disappeared
behind the candle
stayed so long
i thought
– all
suspended –
it had slipped
the windowsill
or wedged itself
a crack of paint

then there it was again
still plodding on
just plodding on
so tiny
and alive

i thought

and suddenly
i heard
a bird across the street
and saw a new leaf
on my rubber plant
then two then
three then
and noticed
out the window
past the projects
past the airport
just a hint
of pink
and realized
and obvious
was going to make
the sun rise
yet again

Jeffrey Essmann is an essayist and poet living in New York. His poetry has appeared in numerous magazines and literary journals, among them America Magazine, Dappled Things, the St. Austin Review, U.S. Catholic and various venues of the Benedictine monastery with which he is an oblate. He is editor of the Catholic Poetry Room.

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