November of last year, with autumn awakening in me again the desire to write, I set myself the task of fifteen songs and fifty poems. Any poetry I had written up to that point I had written for myself, as a spiritual and creative practice. But I wanted to see if I could make something beautiful, or at least good, in the realm of poetry, to see if I could make a warm little house on a rainy, treeless hillside, out of poems.
The forthcoming collection, Snowmelt to Roots, turned into a little house of more than one hundred poems. But however cozy the house may be, sometimes I forget I invited God to stay here as well. And it hardly seems fit to welcome him… (let the reader understand)
God and the Guest Room
I asked God to come live with me
only I didn’t mention
what a mess my house is
and now I’m in the guest bedroom
trying to shove everything into the closet
anxious sweat on my brow
trembling hands, shuffling and shoving,
but when I go out to explain
the state of his room
I can’t find him
the living room is empty
I look out the front window—
maybe he’s gone?
brow-knitted, I turn and decide to make tea
put the kettle on, wondering
walking down the hallway
to grab my book from the nightstand
only to find that God has taken my room
and in a tone that betrays an amusement with my surprise
he says, “thanks for having me”
Zach Winters is a singer-songwriter, poet, husband and father, living in a little house on the Great Plains.