There was a time when the smell
Of new cut grass brought joy
When in the spring you forked the hay
And stacked it neatly in the corner of the
Barn where your first dog was eaten by flies
Back before you knew the soil
Demanded so much.
aaaaaaaaaaaaa[take pictures of tree limbs]
In the field raise up the tent
Under the tent set up a typewriter
Into the typewriter feed white sheets
Type words to change the world
Change the world for those who hurt,
And when you hurt, bite twice as hard (for this is all they know)
And when you bite, catch all the blood
And spread the blood over the doorway.
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa[take pictures of churches]
And when the nation’s sins bring storms,
Use your feet to hold the side (the tent wants to collapse)
And when the lightning crashes the trees
Lie to the children and say they’re safe.
And when the limbs crack, say Look! The Sun it Rises!
And when the lamp dies, pretend you haven’t been swallowed
By God the whale.
aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa[take pictures of tombstones]
Andrew K. Clark is a poet whose work has appeared in The Ogeechee, The Miscellany, and The Pregnant Moon Review. He is the recipient of the Georgia Southern University Roy F. Powell Creative Writing Award for Poetry. He is a native of Asheville, NC, and is querying his Southern gothic magical realism novel. He is active on Twitter at @theandrewkclark. He is a contributor to Hilton Head Monthly magazine.