Hans Ostrom is Professor of English at the University of Puget Sound. He has published poems in Ploughshares, Commonweal, and Poetry Northwest.
First Scrutiny Pay attention: You constitute a clutter of fear, regret, despair. You are old. Indeed, it is always late. You eat, sleep, and ogle too much--are an odd blend of hog, hibernating bear, and cat. You'll never grow up. And so on. You're just another routine example of grace-- that is, of its absolute necessity, obvious presence. If I were God, I wouldn't bother with you. God, however, is God and apparently bothers. Pay attention.