The last day comes on a spring afternoon.
It’s a small 1940’s neighborhood.
Through an overcast sky the sun’s
yellow thread makes the pastel community
at once dismal and vivid. You observe the day
of reckoning as if from a chimney
at the edge of town. From the small quilt
of oblong houses and grassy lots people rise.
They are pulled from their tasks
and diversions, face-first into the air.
A man lifts from his push-mower.
A lady flies out through the drapes
of her upstairs window. Town square empties
as the blue space above topiary trees fills
with little human figures. Boys and girls
come off their bicycles, fall upward
out of a tree house. Automobiles and toys
look awkward and forgotten. A woman
and child sail over headstones, the first
to twist out of the grave. Each body
is surrendered prone in the air, a simple
smear of color drawn up through a cloud-break
where Jesus, arms open, stands revealed
in a streaming nimbus.
That was the end of the world
rendered in watercolor and hung
above my grandfather’s door.
A picture done in the minimal stroke
and tertiary color of his own world,
where he knew he might one day waken
to a world of quiet presentiment,
a soundless house on a cleared street,
finding his wife’s glasses and laundry
basket dropped in the yard.
Without wonder or dissolution
he would walk out the front door,
look upward and wait.
Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review
Fall / Winter, 2003
- Kingdom Come
- Tunnel of Love
- Exit Now
- The Passion
- Texas Education
- Dumb Supper
- Good Year
- Saint Michael and the Devil
- Invisible Knights
- The Rain Gauge
- Green Ghost
- December 13th
- Prevailing Wind
- Dreamland 1911
- On the Median
- These Things Happen
- Scene from a Moral Panic
- Bio. and credits