This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by James Matthew Wilson.
The freezer’s loaded up with chocolate chip
And cookie dough, next to the frosty handle
Of vodka. Daffodils begin to dip
Above their vase and toward the scented candle;
Their stems, where water touches air, seem broken.
Your neighbors’ kids are roaring in the yard,
So I have closed the window, left unspoken
My thoughts on them, instead, set card by card.
This is my penance, not imprisonment,
Because I didn’t like what the doctor said,
And play at solitaire to pass hours spent
Watching you wake and sleep and wake in bed.
I hurt you once, now show that I’m concerned;
Your pain’s the school that taught me all I’ve learned.
James Matthew Wilson is Associate Professor of Religion and Literature in the Department of Humanities and Augustinian Traditions at Villanova University. An award-winning scholar of philosophical-theology and literature, he has authored dozens of essays, articles, and reviews on all manner of subjects secular and divine, and especially on those where we see the two in their intrinsic relation, as truth, goodness, beauty, and being disclose themselves in art and culture, in the political and intellectual life, in our quest for self knowledge and the contemplation of God. His scholarly work especially focuses on the meeting of aesthetic and ontological form, where the craftsmanship of art-work discloses the truth about being. Wilson is a poet and critic of contemporary poetry, whose work appears regularly in such magazines and journals as First Things, The Hudson Review, Modern Age, The New Criterion, Dappled Things, Measure, The Weekly Standard, Front Porch Republic, The Raintown Review, National Review, and The American Conservative.
Solitaire is from the book, Some Permanent Things; Second Edition (Wiseblood Books).