Monday, April 16, 2007

Catch a Fire

I arrive home to cyclones,
to trees broken like the heat
hasn't yet. Autumn
nowhere in sight except

a few leaves starting
their fall fire. Driving without
eyes for wreckage,
I don't notice right away—

Otis Redding sings A Change
Is Gonna Come and I sob
one last time you’re gone.
High up, the BILLIONS

SOLD sign mangled,
once golden arches turned
almost an ampersand—
a few miles along it dawns

what storms I've missed.
Signs ripped down.
Roofs made only of tarp.
Pink tongues of insulation

pulled from the mouths
of houses now silent.
Looking for a sign
from God?

one billboard asks—
This is it.
What's left
of the Hillview Motel

no longer needs say
Only the hill
still here. The corn

brown and shorn.
In a few weeks who can tell
what's being built
and what torn down—

flattened, the fields
all look the same. For now
this charcoal smell
fluttering past the hill—

It's been too hard living

And I’m afraid to die—
the thick smoke billowing
from burning
what's still green

but can't be saved.

-- Kevin Young


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