The Cresset
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January 2009: For Anthony
Brent Newsom (bio)

   Thirty Weeks

As if to herald your coming, miracles
on the nightly news. A woman gives birth
to octuplets: in California, her nursery
holds eight wooden cribs
for the preschool class
conceived in a lab and implanted
aboard the minuscule school bus
of her uterus.

A plane sets down on the Hudson.
Passengers of US Air 1459
stand on the aircraft’s wings,
and though I know it’s all physics
and well-trained flight attendants,
they walk on water.

In the frigid air of the Capitol steps,
a man born at the crossroads
of Kansas and Kenya
takes the oath of office. A historic first.
Next day, a historic second —
the man sworn in all over again
since the black robe bungled his lines.

These, Anthony, are the everyday
wonders that pass for news, and history,
that, inching toward the vanishing point
of time, all become trivia
or less, molecules, hydrogen and oxygen
rushing downriver to join the ocean.
If I have wisdom,
it’s this: question miracles
and believe,
for you are one
and you aren’t.

 

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