Faith Williams


Opening and closing the books

Nicholas, at two, places
all of them,
Grover, Big Bird,
Oscar, all the dogs
and bears of childhood,
Four Fur Feet,
opened out, overlapping
on the stairs,
flowers of the imagination,
and he shouts,
“Read!  Read!”
as if to make all, instantly,

Later, in the museum,
he sees a Chinese screen
and says, “A big flower book.
I could close that book.”

When I pack books
into boxes,
lights go out all over
the house.  Shakespeare falls closed,
and so do Jane Austen, Alice Walker,
Edna St. Vincent Millay.
Lullabies and alarms.
When you can’t lay your hand
against the spines at night,
is anyone there?


About wrestling with an angel

What they never say
is how tired you get,
how every muscle aches,
how you sigh and sigh
longing for the air
to be light again, so
that you might move
your wrist without resistance,
so that a step is just a step
not always a test
of heaven and earth.


In praise of nothing time

To wait in stillness
by the pool and admire
the water.  Nothing
rises.   Slowly you lean
over toward the loops
and circles air makes
on the water, toward
the nothing that is
something that is
always there looping
around us, the very
air we breathe.


Faith Williams

Faith Williams is a Quaker whose mother was a Buddhist, and who more and more tries to be present in the moment. 

She lives in Washington DC with husband and two dogs, was most recently a children’s librarian in a charter school, and for years before that in other DC libraries, and before that taught English.  Her poems have appeared in Earth’s Daughters, The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, The Mom Egg, Poet Lore, Nimrod International, Kansas Quarterly, Tinderbox, Xanadu, and Antiphon, among others.

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