Source of My Confidence

Vast sky, sky blue. Placid dry ocean
sky. I count four cirrus clouds.
I open every window I have
wide. Spring air races through rooms:
a joyous child. My neighbor battens
down for an imminent storm.
She winds in her awnings. She won’t
water her garden. This continues
for more than a week. Every day
we have the same conversation.

Get ready she says, I feel
it in my bones.
I usually respond with mathematics.
They don’t know she says they don’t
know. Night allows me
the smallest violence. I fill
a watering can near to overflowing.
I stand in her dark yard and minister
to her flowers. A gentle wind
surrounds me like a robe.

Michael Kleber-Diggs is a poet and essayist. His debut poetry collection, Worldly Things, won the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize and will be released this June by Milkweed Editions. Among other places, Michael’s writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Great River Review, Water~Stone Review, Poem-a-Day, Poetry Northwest, Potomac Review, Hunger Mountain, Memorious, and a few anthologies. Michael is a past Fellow with the Givens Foundation for African American Literature, a past-winner of the Loft Mentor Series in Poetry, and the former Poet Laureate of Anoka County libraries.