A Golden Shovel: The Sudden Surprise of Joy

The Day Five poem prompt was to write a poem using the form of the Golden Shovel. I chose Christian Wiman’s poem, “From a Window” as the source for my golden shovel. You may read Christian Wiman’s poem HERE, and you may listen to him read it below. My poem based on his below that and is entitled, The Sudden Surprise of Joy.

Christian Wiman reading his poem, “From a Window”
Lying in a hospital bed fearing the incurable,
A diagnosis of terminal illness and
Facing that future unbelieving,
I cried out for healing. But not believing in 
God or gods or doctors or any
Thing but the awful truth 
That there was nothing more but 
To face death and die. The
Bitterness of that truth 
Drove out all the happiness of 
Living, leaving only the grieving.

Broken to pieces on a mechanical bed, I 
Looked out the window and saw 
There in the winter sun, bright and bare, a
Dormant maple tree
And something more inside
It filled my vision and grew as from within— a
Tree within a tree.
And then I saw it rise,
Saw it roll kaleidoscopically
Colored shapes fluttered as 
Though the tree were alive, as if 
Spring had sprung and flung the 
Living feathered leaves 
Merely for the beauty or for me who had 
Only thought himself good as dead but was now livelier
As the sudden surprise of joy dispelled the ghosts.

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