Source of My Confidence

By Michael Kleber-Diggs

Vast sky, sky blue. Placid dry ocean
sky. I count four cirrus clouds.
I open every window I have
wide. Spring air races through rooms:
a joyous child. My neighbor battens
down for an imminent storm.
She winds in her awnings. She won’t
water her garden. This continues
for more than a week. Every day
we have the same conversation.

Get ready, she says,
I feel it in my bones.

I usually respond with mathematics.
They don’t know,
she says, they don’t
Night allows me
the smallest violence. I fill
a watering can near to overflowing.
I stand in her dark yard and minister
to her flowers. A gentle wind
surrounds me like a robe.


Michael Kleber-Diggs, “Source of My Confidence” from Worldly Things. Copyright © 2021 by Michael Kleber-Diggs. Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Milkweed Editions,