Mass and Momentum

Barbara Carey. Undressing the Dark. "weighing it up".

This poem begins with a detail that within a few lines morphs into a huge size.

One fingernail
from the Statue of Liberty
weighs 100 lbs.,
a little less than me.
And the next stanza continues the comparisons
but twice the weight
of a sack of No. 1 Northern
wheat, and two hundred times
the standard jar
of rich-blend Nescafé
And the poem continues through some meditations on the nature of faith in the computations of judgement to conclude
and the faith
that it all adds up,
like multiplication
tables or prayers

something meant
for the believer in us,
something we raise
monuments to
The enjambement and the short lines are a key to the enjoyment of this poem. They lend their support to the tension between the monument and the everyday and together underscore the progression of accumulation that raises out of the mundane, the monumental. And the belief is not in some metaphysical force but in the ordinariness of drinking coffee and living our lives.

And so for day 305