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by Dorianne Laux

Someone spoke to me last night,
told me the truth. Just a few words,
but I recognized it.
I knew I should make myself get up,
write it down, but it was late,
and I was exhausted from working
all day in the garden, moving rocks.
Now, I remember only the flavor—
not like food, sweet or sharp.
More like a fine powder, like dust.
And I wasn’t elated or frightened,
but simply rapt, aware.
That’s how it is sometimes—
God comes to your window,
all bright light and black wings,
and you’re just too tired to open it.

Dorianne Laux

About this Poem:

The speaker of "Dust" recognizes the divine but is too tired after a long day to receive it. The poem suggests that faith requires an open mind.

About the Poet:

Dorianne Laux worked as a cook, a gas station manager, a maid, and a donut-holer before she went to college. She has received awards for her poetry from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Dorianne Laux, "Dust" from What We Carry. Copyright © 1994 by Dorianne Laux. Reprinted by permission of BOA Editions, Ltd.

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