The ribbed black of the umbrella
is an argument for the existence of God,
that little shelter
we carry with us
and may forget
beside a chair
in a committee meeting
we did not especially want to attend.
What a beautiful word, "umbrella."
A shade to be opened.
Like a bat's wing, scalloped.
A drum head
beaten by the silver sticks
and I do not have mine,
and so the rain showers me.
Michael Chitwood teaches English at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and has published eight collections of poetry. The poem "Here I Am, Lord" is from his book Poor-Mouth Jubilee.
In Chitwood's "Here I Am, Lord," the speaker considers his relationship with God and how faith, like an umbrella, is a protection often taken for granted. The poem's final image of the rain remains open to interpretation.