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.
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.