Artist Frederic Church's rendition of a sunset in my home county, painted in 1847
Over the past few months the area I live in has experienced a tornado, a hurricane, two bouts of flooding, a triple murder, and now West Nile Virus. I know this earthly life's a battle, but great jeesum crow! We've also had some gorgeous summer days, saw neighbors helping neighbors during a crisis, and helped celebrate the 250th anniversary of the town next door. I wrote this poem a couple of years ago when opposing incidences seemed overwhelming. Seems like a good time to trot it back out.
the same day an airplane dashed itself
to bits on the side of a mountain, killing seven people
a gentle rain fell on the garden,
pattering on the broad leaves of the squash
and watering the thirsty beets;
and while an earthquake
shook a south sea island in its heavy fist
scattering lives like wooden blocks
the sun came out,
hanging rainbows in water droplets
that strung themselves along the fence
like Christmas lights?
Listening to the news
you couldn’t help but realize the world
was a frightening place to be
except right here where an ordinary lily
opened its vibrant yellow throat.