Friday, March 18, 2005
The Tennessee is winter level low,
And worn old stumps from New Deal days poke through
The dirty flats of mud that stretch below
The bridge and out across the river slough.
The sallow clouds slouch drooping in their place
Above the fallow fields that silent doze,
A three day beard of stubble on the face
Of land bedecked in threadbare winter clothes.
At last, the place where rows of marble trees
An orchard make, where rests a little boy
Who early sleeps, whose eye no longer sees,
Whose mother's heart has passed from earthly joy.
So many pitfalls lurk! Astride their bikes,
Or by the water's edge, dark forces wait
In deadly ambush for the carefree tykes
So gently drawn too close, and snatched by fate.
The preacher said, God purified his sin
Baptismally, but thinking back of him
The only fault we could surmise within
Was maybe that at three, he could not swim.
And so he sleeps beneath the gray-hung sky
Awaiting with the land the coming spring
And promised resurrection by and by —
Beyond all longing, guilt, and sorrowing.
© 2005 Jeffrey Hull