Published on Academy of American Poets (


I woke to a voice within the room. perhaps.
The room itself: "You're wasting this life
expecting disappointment."
I packed my bag in the night
and peered in its leather belly
to count the essentials.
Nothing is essential.
To the east, the flood has begun.
Men call to each other on the water
for the comfort of voices.
Love surprises us.
It ends.


Reprinted from Wideawake Field © 2007 by Eliza Griswold, by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Learn more about FSG poets at


Eliza Griswold

Eliza Griswold is the author of the poetry collection Wideawake Field (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007) and a book of translation, I am the Beggar of the World: Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014), winner of the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. She works as a journalist for publications such as The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and The New York Times Magazine and teaches at Columbia University. She lives in New York City.

Date Published: 2007-01-01

Source URL: