Friday, June 3, 2011

our annual dread

Here's another poem submitted here for the sake of timeliness and not for the fact of its doneness. You see, I would rather come off as aware than I would as prepared.

Alabama Heat

It comes early and leaves late.

Each year we forget, stunned

By the oppression of the sun.

As Noah’s flood—from the sky,

from the ground, all at once—

The inundation of fire.

And yet somehow we forget the rivering sweat, the wavering asphalt, the lolling

Tongues of dogs.

It’s the burden we bear

To our swimming pools,

The yoke of our wet towels

Coming home; we slap mosquitoes, cussing

A storm, shaming grave-drowned mothers.

Fireflies elude the children,

High into the maple,

Down into the ditch.

Down where the black-bags

Of dry-bone leaves loiter, forsaken

By the city-trucks. Summer, summer, summer . . .

Fanning ourselves with yard-sale fliers,

We hum our praises

As we tend to do in the face

Of our oppressions, of our God himself—

His spirit descending like the gloaming-bats

To intercept the mosquitoes

And, our annual dread,

To alight in glory on our heads.

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