An excerpt from â€śBeing Serious,â€ť by Christian Wiman
Serious smiles a lot.
At least thatâ€™s what they say,
His Mum and Pop
Trying to be proud
As all the nurses gather round
To squint into the cloud
Of little Serious on the ultrasound.
Itâ€™s likely just the way heâ€™s bent,
The head nurse finally thunders
Into the awe and argument
Swirling through the crowd
Where someone mutters half-aloud
In all my years….
Serious never hears.
Serious spins and spins
With his dumb dolphin grin
In the best bed there is,
Where thereâ€™s no guilt and no sin,
No child more inner than this;
Nothing to will
And nothing to want,
No body you both are and haunt;
No drug of disappointment
Or feeling that thereâ€™s never now
(Or do these seep in somehow?);
No suffering the worldâ€™s idiocy
Like a saint its pains;
No traffic and no planes;
No debts, no taxes,
No phones and no faxes;
No rockslide of information
Called the internet.
Serious isnâ€™t. Yet.
â€śBeing Seriousâ€ť originally appeared in its entirety in the print version of At Length, which no longer exists. To read the whole poem, check out Christian Wimanâ€™s Hard Night. The Editor of Poetry, Wiman is the author most recently of Ambition and Survivial: Becoming a Poet. To make sure you donâ€™t miss future poems from At Length, please sign up for our RSS feed or email list.