“This is the stubborn sun/choosing to rise”

Last night, I read a Facebook post from the comedian Patton Oswalt, of all people, responding to the tragedy in Boston. It wasn’t cheeky or sassy at all. He just talked about how–and of course, I’m paraphrasing–even horrific acts don’t destroy goodness or serve as some evidence of a basic evil in humankind. I went to bed thinking about that and woke up with this poem by Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno running through my brain.

Kathleen Sheeder Bonanno, “Poem About Light”

You can try to strangle light:
use your hands and think
you’ve found the throat of it,
but you haven’t.
You could use a rope or a garrote
or a telephone cord,
but the light, amorphous, implacable,
will make a fool of you in the end.

You could make it your mission
to shut it out forever,
to crouch in the dark,
the blinds pulled tight—

still, in the morning,
a gleaming little ray will betray you, poking
its optimistic finger
through a corner of the blind,
and then more light,
clever, nervy, impossible,
spilling out from the crevices
warming the shade.

This is the stubborn sun,
choosing to rise,
like it did yesterday,
like it will tomorrow.
You have nothing to do with it.
The sun makes its own history;
light has its way.

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