Magazine September 10, 2018, Issue

Poetry

(David Gray/Reuters)

OCCURRENCE

Last night, the winds went wild at war.
Their gusts and gales made chaos swarm,
And then . . . they weren’t there anymore.
We woke to see the after-storm
Outside our window in the yard,
Where order waited to re-form.
The battle-winds had blown so hard
They’d left a Brady negative
Of trunks and limbs. There, one branch stood
Upright, stuck deep as any lance,
As if it had been thrust, not thrown.
The storm then, meant to let us live,
But having danced its crazed war dance,
Had planted this to warn it would
Be watching: We were on our own.
A spear so near where we had slept,
The weapon was a sign, we knew,
Of just what watch the storm had kept;
Of what the whirlwind’s hate could do.
We pulled it from the yielding earth,
That stabbed-in, message-bearing stick,
Then broke it, though two inches thick,
And burnt its six feet in the hearth.

Len Krisak is an American poet. He has taught at Brandeis, Northeastern University, and Stonehill College.

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"Last night, the winds went wild at war, their gusts and gales made chaos swarm, and then . . . they weren’t there anymore."

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