poem index

sign up to receive a new poem-a-day in your inbox

About this poet

Anne Porter is the author of Living Things: Collected Poems (Zoland Books, 2006).

A Short Testament

Anne Porter
Whatever harm I may have done 
In all my life in all your wide creation creation
If I cannot repair it 
I beg you to repair it, 

And then there are all the wounded 
The poor the deaf the lonely and the old
Whom I have roughly dismissed 
As if I were not one of them. 
Where I have wronged them by it 
And cannot make amends 
I ask you 
To comfort them to overflowing,

And where there are lives I may have withered around me,
Or lives of strangers far or near 
That I've destroyed in blind complicity, 
And if I cannot find them 
Or have no way to serve them,

Remember them. I beg you to remember them

When winter is over 
And all your unimaginable promises
Burst into song on death's bare branches.

From Living Things by Anne Porter, published by Zoland Books, an imprint of Steerforth Press of Hanover, New Hampshire. Copyright © 2006 by Anne Porter. All rights reserved.

From Living Things by Anne Porter, published by Zoland Books, an imprint of Steerforth Press of Hanover, New Hampshire. Copyright © 2006 by Anne Porter. All rights reserved.

Anne Porter

Anne Porter is the author of Living Things: Collected Poems (Zoland Books, 2006).

by this poet

poem
When snow is shaken
From the balsam trees
And they're cut down 
And brought into our houses 

When clustered sparks 
Of many-colored fire
Appear at night 
In ordinary windows 

We hear and sing
The customary carols 

They bring us ragged miracles
And hay and candles 
And flowering weeds of poetry
That are loved
poem
On a clear winter's evening
The crescent moon 

And the round squirrels' nest
In the bare oak 

Are equal planets.
poem
Give praise with psalms that tell the trees to sing,
Give praise with Gospel choirs in storefront churches,
Mad with the joy of the Sabbath, 
Give praise with the babble of infants, who wake with the sun,
Give praise with children chanting their skip-rope rhymes, 
A poetry not in books, a vagrant mischievous