Why I’m Here
by Jacqueline Berger


Because my mother was on a date

with a man in the band, and my father,

thinking she was alone, asked her to dance.

And because, years earlier, my father

dug a foxhole but his buddy

sick with the flu, asked him for it, so he dug

another for himself. In the night

the first hole was shelled.

I’m here because my mother was twenty-seven



It’s right to praise the random,

the tiny god of probability that brought us here,

to praise not meaning, but feeling, the still-warm

sky at dusk, the light that lingers and the night

that when it comes is gentle.


Why I’m Here” by Jacqueline Berger, from The Gift That Arrives Broken. © Autumn House Press, 2010. (buy now)