Black Rook In Rainy Weather

On the stiff twig up there

Hunches a wet black rook

Arranging and rearranging its feathers in the rain.

I do not expect a miracle

Or an accident

 

To set the sight on fire

In my eye, not seek

Any more in the desultory weather some design,

But let spotted leaves fall as they fall,

Without ceremony, or portent.

 

Although, I admit, I desire,

Occasionally, some backtalk

From the mute sky, I can't honestly complain:

A certain minor light may still

Leap incandescent

 

Out of the kitchen table or chair

As if a celestial burning took

Possession of the most obtuse objects now and then ---

Thus hallowing an interval

Otherwise inconsequent

 

By bestowing largesse, honor,

One might say love.

At any rate, I now walk

Wary (for it could happen

Even in this dull, ruinous landscape); skeptical,

Yet politic; ignorant

 

Of whatever angel may choose to flare

Suddenly at my elbow. I only know that a rook

Ordering its black feathers can so shine

As to seize my senses, haul

My eyelids up, and grant

 

A brief respite from fear

Of total neutrality. With luck,

Trekking stubborn through this season

Of fatigue, I shall

Patch together a content

 

Of sorts. Miracles occur,

If you care to call those spasmodic

Tricks of radiance miracles. The wait's begun again,

The long wait for the angel.

For that rare, random descent.

 

-- Sylvia Plath