Three Poems on Judgment
God Has Turned His Back
Mouthing a collection of our vanities;
cribbing off lists from Solomon,
the Preacher on Mom's way-too-loud TV
said that God has turned His back on us.
In days when no one looks much past the bumper,
no side-glances or smiling nods; no eye contact
either for kindred spirit or dispirited bum.
The Town Square, all beautiful trees,
statue and fountain, with the empty Santa's House
surrounded by empty churches;
the cardboard signs at the on-ramp; all of it
might as well not be there.
And while Main Street’s dying, I'm sitting at the stoplight,
looking at the probably pretty girls
turning left across the bow of my old boat.
The sets of three-second frames
total a 30-second movie that could entertain,
but for the hands to ears that spoil the view.
No town square and trees, statue and fountain.
No empty prayers for either Christmas bling or Father Christmas.
Just instant message, voice-mail, call waiting.
And the collection rolls its way up the on-ramp,
past the cardboard "Out to lunch" sign propped against the curb,
facing away from Main Street below.
Green Town, Illinois:
Judgment runs fast
Flying through the dandelions
Fate lies in... now - not waiting
Years pass that tow-head boy
And scythes kiss the fields of Illinois
(And they don’t make Cream-Sponge Para Litefoot Tennis Shoes
Not anymore... not even in China)
Judgment doesn’t waste time
Writing overwrought obituaries
Or talking sweet memories
Judgment doesn't do morality plays -
At least not from our script
Judgment reads Revelation Chapter Six
Aloud before bedtime
Its midnight snack is the local Rumor Mill.
A quart of wheat and three quarts of barley
The bread of its Dagwood
Our juiciest sins the meat
Our excuses the condiments
The overweight evidence
Of collective, hereditary guilt
Is Judgment's cold milk
The bones stripped bare -
Lying there on the plate
dc - 2008