Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Arched across Kansas the sentinel night
ticks with steel beneath the tall silence
of the sky, above busy silence in earth.
In this clear chill the voice of time
choirs across the galaxy a high,
immaculate harmony of lights that pose
a question to the black apse of forever.
I always walk a bit on nights like this
when I’ve had the duty, to decompress,
though I can hear the cold, vigilant silage,
sown teeth in the furrowed earth, poised
to rise like demons at the beck of aged men.
I shouldn’t think about it all so much.
It does no good, clouds all resolve,
but lately I feel a growing need to know
just where my fifty little suns will set,
whether at the turn of my key the souls
will rise in millions, call me to judgment,
demanding answers I no longer have.
Will I be able when the codes come? Act?
Or will I see in that blinding moment
the apparition of some gentle god
reiterating shopworn admonitions,
fail my duty to protect my soul?
Idle speculation, understand.
It’s all a drill. We do it by the numbers,
once or twice a week. At first you sit
braced for incoming at T-plus-six,
but soon it’s a chain of reflex, mindless:
you unlock the door, then you ring the bell.
If someone answers, it’s an exercise;
if not, the groundshear offers absolution
long before your conscience names you
history’s killer, avatar of chaos,
envoy of the bloody book of Cain.
Me, I’ll be glad when I get my orders.