When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
I knew very well I could not
I cast for comfort I can no more get.
I set it in a blaze.
You did not come.
Deep questioning, which probes to endless dole.
The heavy trouble, the bewildering care,
The light that loses, the night that winsâ€”
Wild Nightsâ€”Wild Nights!
Passing away, said my God, passing away
The tongueless vigil, and all the pain.
Missing me one place search another.
Closer yet I approach you,
The little wheel moved by the Grace of God.
When the stars begin to fallâ€”
O weary time whose stars are fewâ€”
Across the barren azure pass to God,
And bathe there in Godâ€™s sight,
Perhaps the one I want so much will rise, will rise with some of you.
Note: “Or I Guess It Is the Handkerchief of the Lord” is a cento.
Shannon Holman, New York, 2001