Grace

It is an ordinary thing to be holy.

We do such extra

ordinary things not to be.

James Hazard, ``On a Line By Gary Snyder''

To get into the beast I must put my right foot up on the ledge, grab onto the bone-tight wheel and hoist and swing my flanks up to the cold seat.

It is an act of ordinary will, performed every morning right before I turn the cold ignition, hauling it up like another might grab the cold iron on a moving freight, blood between his fingers, aching triceps, heaviness of leg and wing, knowing, even as he soars against the cold air,

that he does not fly, does not run with the deer, does not speak in tongues, that he is at his best, a decent father, a capable teacher, a competent writer, an ordinary lover, a man who does not know why to stop himself from throwing up his hand and climbing up into the gaping mouth in the grey light even as it gnaws on his strangely thinning arms, even as it takes his body as no lover would ever do, as it carries him in the early morning frost:

the barn, the shale drive, the road, work.

Work, the road, the shale drive, the barn:

the idiot duck, forgetting the stream, quacks for water. The baby presses his nose against the foggy window. Nancy dances in the living room. I step out into the dying light,

a little bit lighter, like any animal looking for food.

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