Some are convinced by delicate crystal
wineglasses they reach for on the highest shelf,
taken down only to be dusted, washed, and carefully replaced;
by an invisible bird that sings from the cavern of branches
inside the ancient arbor vitae; by lightning hidden
behind miles of cloud that transmit only
the faint testimony of thunder.

They are the ones who fill the birdfeeder
before going on vacation, who believe that
the unshaven, bleary-eyed man with his greasy backpack
will spend the money they give on food, who stop
for the dog left bleeding on the road’s hard shoulder,
who don’t mention the missing twenty the day after
the maid service comes, who keep silent
when their children tell them they understand nothing
of darkened hearts; those who work where weapons are made
and furtively disable each obedient mechanism that passes
under their faithful hands.

©2005 F.J. Bergmann

"Creed" appeared on Wheelhouse Vol. 2, Spring 2007

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