“It Takes Particular Clicks”

Flip–flops, leash–clinks,

spit on the concrete

like a light slap:

our dawn goon

ambles past, flexing

his pit bull. And soft,

and soon, a low burn

lights the flight path

from O’Hare,

slowly the sky

a roaring flue

to heaven

slowly shut.

Here’s a curse

for a car door

stuck for the umpteenth

time, here a rake

for next door’s nut

to claw and claw

at nothing. My nature

is to make

of the speedbump

scraping the speeder’s


and the om

of traffic, and somewhere

the helicopter

hovering over

snarls—a kind

of clockwork

from which all things

seek release,

but it takes

particular clicks

to pique my poodle’s

interest, naming

with her nose’s

particular quiver

the unseeable


squirrel. Good girl.

From the book Every Riven Thing by Christian Wiman. Copyright © 2010 by Christian Wiman. Used by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC.

Listen to Christian Wiman’s On Being interview, “How Does One Remember God?