Vigil

David Yezzi

Tonight I sit alone
unattended by friends or the sounds
of muted city streets
in August.

It's late. A light flicks on
in the neighbor's bathroom window
and off as he returns
to bed.

No occasional confidant
calls for the latest news,
distracted as we all are
these days.

The clock blinks on the radiator
and dawn addresses the panes
without brilliance but with a casual
warmth.

Tomorrow our boys will be born,
if science and God's good grace
and my wife's fortitude
hold out

for a little, so that they
will grow, have children or not
have children, also find love
or not,

live long or briefly and fuse
someway into generations,
a future they already bequeath
to us.


David Yezzi's poems have appeared most recently in The Atlantic Monthly and The Best American Poetry 2006. He is the executive editor of The New Criterion.