All afternoon I have heard you
going from room to room, as if you would offer
the gift of a watchful presence, the gift of a look
to how the sunlight gathers in the folds
how the shadows on the wall
flit back and forth, more sparrow, or swallow in flight
than birds would have been.
Like you I have felt it today; that space in our house
where doors might swing open
the curve of a bowl, or the red in a vase of carnations
softly assuming the forms of a visitation.
We go for weeks and never catch ourselves
like this, the trace of magic we possess
locked in the work of appearing, day after day,
in the world of our making
we go for months with phantoms in our heads
till, filling a bath or fetching the laundry in,
we see ourselves at home, illumined,
folding a sheet, or pouring a glass of milk,
bright in the here and now, and unencumbered.
John Burnside, Gift Songs, Cape Poetry, 2007