Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

For Martha

From the November 2022 Print Edition

Busy with many things, I know you are,And watch you turn away and close the door.I see it in the way you drive your car,In how things clutter on your kitchen floor.Someone will advertise new ways to mend it,To find a method and a discipline,But you and they both know you’ll never end it,Just fall . . . . Continue Reading »

Atmosphere

From the May 2022 Print Edition

The snow this morning falls on brook and rushIn great flakes wending slantwise without purpose,The sky above a wakening tent of grey.So does my daughter wake, and say she’s sad.For, sorrow sometimes strikes us with its bolt,But mostly is a kind of atmosphere.It doesn’t enter us. We enter it,And . . . . Continue Reading »

An Accident

From the May 2020 Print Edition

The road flares burning where the truck swerved off     Just before midnight show the streaks in gravelAnd banged-up tailgate slanted in its trough.     Those passing—weary, wondering—slow their travelOn sight of massed police and long enough    . . . . Continue Reading »