Ann Arbor Review
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
(For Nickel Mines: 10/12/2006)
I drop my heels down the sharp edge of concrete
stretching the length of hamstrings and tendons,
then trot into tendrils of fog--afloat above the dirt road.
The western sky is smudged with night.
Pink is gashed across the east.
The silver nib of a jet pierces and punches through a ghostly path
scribing a new contrail upon the crosshatched sky.
Like me, it is heading east toward the morning star. I speed up.
Lights come on in farmhouses. Cattle naturally line up at barns.
A few hunched drivers pass, hugging the splayed edge of the road.
Uphill, I leave the fog and pass the mounded body of a woodchuck.
Like a well-rounded period, it is a death readily understood.
The rustle in the dry corn is more difficult to interpret.
The dying stalks have settled crookedly, disordering
the simple green march of summer--the knowledge of lines.
I pass the horse farm, and the house with two tenacious dachshunds,
then turn west to return home--and I see the moon.
Slightly flattened, it hangs crookedly above the horizon.
It is fitting, I think, for the moon to be imperfect today--
for today, in Nickel Mines, the Amish are creating a corn field.
It will be imperfect.
The Plain Brethren know only God can make perfection.
Rows of blond-silked corn will rise above blood-soaked roots--
above the disquieting outline of a razed schoolhouse
where little girls were lined up...and shot.
It is right that the blemished moon knows its lines by heart.
And there is
no surprise in the starlings' scratchy cursive.
Ann Arbor Review | Home | next | previous | Back to Top