Five Charms in Praise of Bewilderment


           At first when you leave town,

the dog and I maintain dignified silence.
           After no more than two hours
I’m talking to her, after three
           she’s telling me the story of her life.
I nod my head at every word,
           encouraging her
to take all the time she needs



           I have the vice

of courting poems.
           Pathetic, I know.
I also like to watch Oprah
           if no one is around to notice.
That’s right,
           I court poems, I watch Oprah,
I even let out wordless sighs late at night,
           and call them
my spring fields ploughed, my ready earth.



           Sitting quietly at dusk, I'll admit

my life goes like this:
           dark branches
scratching the still darker window.



           “How are you?”

I ask a woman at work.
           “I have no idea,”
she replies,
           sounding pleased with herself
at the heartfeltness
           of her own bewilderment.



           We don’t know,

can’t possibly know,
           never have known,
never will know.
           We just don’t know.

Copyright © 2014 Jim Moore. This poem originally appeared in Underground: New and Selected Poems (Graywolf Press, 2014). Used with permission of the author.