From Delights & Shadows. Copper Canyon Press, 2004.
This is the pipe that pierces the dam
that holds back the universe,
that takes off some of the pressure,
keeping the weight of the unknown
from breaking through
and washing us all down the valley.
Because of this small tube,
through which a cold light rushes
from the bottom of time,
the depth of the stars stays always constant
and we are able to sleep, at least for now,
beneath the straining wall of darkness.
Poem copyright Ted Kooser, used here with permission.