What It Means to Hope: Two Poems by Ryan Schnurr

By Ryan Schnurr


This Morning

I have been awake for some time now;
the sun has yet to join me in the world.
There is nothing to do but lie here
and listen for the chatter of the birds.

Now, the cardinal gives a pulsing whistle,
and the sparrow trills in the dark.
0413141532I am beginning to understand
what it means to hope.


A Moment of Peace

It’s April in Chicago. The air hangs thick
and smells of coming rain. Thunder speaks
faintly in the distance, and the room
grows cool as the earth responds.

In the grey-blue light of morning,
she slips her arm around my waist and rests
her chin against the back of my shoulder.
We lie in holy silence, and watch the storm
roll in from the west.

Ryan Schnurr is a writer and photographer based in Chicago. His work has previously appeared in Belt Magazine, Frost Illustrated, and Ictus, among others.

Photograph taken by David Nilsen in Chicago in April, 2014.



  1. I think Ryan Schnurr does a wonderful job of capturing the simple beauty of waking to the snuggles of love and the comfort of birdsong outside one’s home. I am grateful for how he gave elegant words to these little moments that are so plain and yet provide us with small treasures of feeling.


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