Today's poem is by Anne Pitkin
Onstage, they are shaking the firmament, two at each end.
Songs of awe and terror, praise and supplication
rise into the shadowy arches. Two by two,
the beasties and the fowlies have already
made shy entrances, skulkingmasks, painted spots, tails
askewalong the gauntlet of their brothers, sisters,
mothers, fathers, friends, as, two by two
the creatures entered the ark to be saved.
Onstage, the ark rolls and pitches through the maze
of God's intention. What of the rest of us,
waiting in these hard rows for catastrophe
to neutralize our errors? From the remembered
breathing in and breathing out of sunlight on hills,
streets, rows of comic birds along the power lines,
the prayer swells, Save us! Save us! What Ararat will rise
this time? What rocks will press and buckle upward
from the world's cracked heart? The sky's awnings snap
in the wind. Singing rises, ebbs, and swells and ebbs
again, then rises. At last, the wind falls down
through heaven's empty pipes. The sky
drifts lower, lower, until finally it drops. The ark settles
on the earth's shining mask. It's time for the first dove.
She is ready. In her leotard, beak in place,
she descends from the stage, skitters up the aisle
and out the back door. Another follows,
running on tiptoe, bony arms fluttering from her side.
She pirouettes, she leaps, and also exits
through the back door. She comes back,
a daisy in her mouth. Noye sweeps her into his arms.
Someone hoists a rainbow wrinkled like a garter.
The sun enters, stage left,
a giant dahlia smiling at the end of its pole,
followed by the crescent moon, three stars,
and all the planets. Singing rises once again
like birds across a western cloudbank, hymns
to the sky, to the frame of a kinesis not yet failed.
Everyone is singingthanks to God and to the upward sprawl
of weeds, thanks for stones and inchworms, for what lasts,
what doesn't last, thanks for rain that washes clean,
for resurrections of the sun on broken glass.
Copyright © 2011 Anne Pitkin All rights reserved
from Winter Arguments
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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