THE OBSTRUCTING VISION
The vagabonds on the hill were quiet
Watching us as we watched them, trying to discern
Which intentions deserved which response
It was no coincidence all sights were set low-
There were many young ones among them and the orders were
To make sure young breeders went down first.
Troubling? for sure: this “final arrangement” had too many
Older echoes. No one wanted to go there.
Still, the aggregate of it all was overwhelming
And we had our culture to protect.
Our people and color to maintain.
At least, that´s what we all were told.
I needed the money.
When push comes to shove
I´ll feed my own brood first.
On Sundays we´ll venerate another vagabond
Who probably wouldn´t approve.
It doesn´t matter. (It can´t.)
The astounding coincidence before us was that
On that hill over there
They shared similar ideas.
But we had the guns.
And a genus to protect.
(As if guns could that.)
The sun was cold, the day bright and still;
The leaves moved briskly across the trail, moistened with Spring.
Another silent pass, an occasional grunted Easter cough
And some itinerant hikers collected the circle today.
Beneath the spruce the stumps watched with jealousy as
A short distance past, the sun held its own
On the mossed-over rocks, and near them
A few green pines, ready to march upwards this summer.
The lake threw its glittering aluminum blue waves
Across brisk winds- a northern cold touched the Poet today.
The hands held firm within the old brown corduroy coat.
The squinting made his forehead ache
But around the corner, another spruce, alone,
Stood waiting, greeting him
As if he was a recovered lover from a lost eve.
Stopping briefly he nodded and acknowledged the sentiment
As the steps he made home collided with the mud in otherwise remorseful plods.
DUST AND BLOOD
He was weary. We´d seen signs of it before.
In the middle of that red afternoon
The birds were dark,
No sign of white doves anywhere.
No sign of holiness of any kind, in fact.
He was made up to enact what all of us knew came next.
Of course all that red was blood, and it was everywhere.
This had happened before.
Friendly to all of us, cheerful, even, he labored with his burden slowly
(It was said someone helped but I doubt it. We were all too scared).
I wanted to scream, to shatter the day with my own agony
But such vanity always is better on paper
And now I write the story far away from all the dust and blood.
Then my child crawled up next to me and wondered
“What comes next?”
I smiled and gave an answer I knew absolutely untrue.
Except for the part about the sky growing dark inside each of us
Every time we look away.