I look up —
the winter sky cold & full of light
             the way water
flowing over boulders in the river

             is cold & full
of light, the way the foot-thick ice
             on the river
fills with the neutrino blue color

             of evening.
I am standing on a metal ladder
             leaned against
the porch roof of the house on

I hold the mortgage & just now my
is complete. Miles of thin blue

air separate me from outer space
             & I couldn’t
be more surprised at my life & that
             I live here

even if I’d seen God. I have not seen
though if I did he would not
             appear to me

in a burning bush but in a chunk
             of ice.
Five-hundred-pound ice dams threaten
             to collapse

the porch & — because the house is
             warm & for other
reasons that have been explained to me
             but which

I do not fully understand — water is
down the living room’s north wall.
             The laws

of mundane physics, not the fancy
             laws of cosmology,
have me swinging the six-pound
             sledgehammer to batter

the humps of ice & heaving
             the chunks
of God down into what used to be
             the garden.

I admit it. At this moment I hate my life,
             10 degrees
in the lee of the two white pines — what
             it must be

out in the wind, I don’t want to know.
             O the world
conspires to make believers of us!
             Not looking

for anything of the kind, I tilt my head up
             & see
dozens of crows wheeling black

the winter dusk, the sky suffused with
             pink light,
& only by slow degrees do their voices
             come down

to one clinging to a freezing ladder,
             gazing up
at nothing & listening to nothing but