Autumn Lightning


 

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Autumn Lightning

Awakened by its flash, I count the seconds
with thousands, until the thunder booms
far to the east. I roll on my side,
pushing the red drapes from the windowsill
and think of how my grandmother always said
angels were falling. I picture them
crashing through the air, their stunning wings
heavy at their sides, their faces ashen
as they plummet. Another strike, another
and my wife wakes up in the darkness,
clutching the bedclothes to her breasts.
“Angels are falling,” I whisper
as we listen to the rain whip into froth
against the new siding. Now they are overhead
seeking the mirrors, the scissors; now
they fly through the room, driven, driven
to find us in panic. Whole constellations
burn in their robes; haloes ignite,
hair floats around their shoulders. My wife
stares at the clock and trembles
until the storm passes into distant numbers.
Earth is the same,
oaks being shriven, maples touched by their fire.

-Dick Allen

from Ode to the Cold War:
Poems New and Selected

Categories: Poems & PhotosTags: , , , , , , ,

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