Each morning when he wakes he reaches for
His glasses and his watch, his space and time.
It's an old habit, from beyond the shore
That parts him from that half-forgotten clime.
But now he sees at once that he can see,
And knows that clocks don't matter any more.
But how he came by this lucidity,
This vast yet focused all-aroundness, or
The sweet free hours, the lingering at whim
In this or that caf? or village-why,
It's all a total mystery to him:
How these small sunlit clouds throughout the sky
And those moist fall woods as the colors dim
Are now the only scales he measures by.
We'll never touch the empty space inside
the center of an atom, settle on
a singularity, or stand astride
event horizons—there, but really gone;
no common sense can comprehend extremes
in mass, velocity, and time. For that,
we have to take as proof the chalkboard dreams
of physicists who see the Cheshire cat.
But I can hold what numbers can't depict
(good thing, because I'm terrible at math),
a sum that calculations can't predict:
the self who walks beside me down this path-
who smiles and laughs when I declare, “It's true,
no quantum formula accounts for you.
Robert W. Crawford