Waking Before Dawn

Waking Before Dawn


Thomas R. Smith

ISBN: 9781890193676

Pages: 90

Publication Date: 2007

Typeface: Figural

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It’s like so many other things in life

to which you must say no or yes.

So you take your car to the new mechanic.

Sometimes the best thing to do is trust.

The package left with the disreputable-looking

clerk, the check gulped by the night deposit,

the envelope passed by dozens of strangers—

all show up at their intended destinations.

The theft that could have happened doesn’t.

Wind finally gets where it was going

through the snowy trees, and the river, even

when frozen, arrives at the right place.

And sometimes you sense how faithfully your life

is delivered, even though you can’t read the address.

In a time when consumerism and media hype keep us effectively asleep to the impact of our ways and wars on the rest of the world, how can we awaken? In Waking before Dawn, Thomas R. Smith confronts the challenge and responsibility of moral awareness in some of the best and most varied poems he has written. These poems bridge the personal and the political, from love poems and elegies to a suite of poems powerfully indicting the bankrupt Iraq war. On the home front, Smith witnesses the hope and suffering of ordinary lives diminished by a wounded democracy, while maintaining faith, with Walt Whitman, that "South, North, East, West, inland and seaboard, we will surely awake."