Thomas Zimmerman, “Surprise”

orange line


The century’s late teens, its acne bloom.
The street’s ice-scabs I pick at with my dog-
walk boots. The only bleeding, energy
and time; a lava flow, an avalanche
that swallows just to spit us out at death.
Cheer up, I tell myself. Good beer is in
the fridge. The poet that I’m reading now
glides smooth as cream and buries sweet dreams deep
The angel loves the animal in me.
A soft rain ticks, a clock reversed. That sax
that Ornette Coleman tweaks draws laughing birds
to perch inside the porches of my ears.
Is beauty such a rare thing? Hmm. I turn
the volume up, surprised by joy again.


Thomas Zimmerman teaches English, directs the Writing Center, edits The Huron River Review and The Big Windows Review, and serves as faculty advisor of the WCC Poetry Club at Washtenaw Community College, in Ann Arbor, MI.

“Surprise” is reprinted from The Future, a WCC Poetry Club anthology edited by Tom Zimmerman and Tyler Wettig. Copyright 2017.


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