I. Tomorrow’s Work Undone
Over Appalachian hills of devonian coal
Spread glowing beams of dusklight,
A fading glow on the half-harvested valley,
Westward light lingers.
Her fingers ache; her hands leave work
She returns home for the night.
Anna drifts in dreams to the sheep:
rams, ewes, lambs long grown
past shearing days and rooing times;
Dreams to a young son’s spring sadness
The town boys taking, cutting short
his lamb’s life, rocks mocking
Stones of wanton wreckage.
It was slain down by the old foundation
Behind the new school.
Awoken, alone, Anna rises in darkness,
halts past her sleeping child’s room
And passes to the porch and outside under
A black sky aglow with stars
Spread as bright seed in firm earth.
How long this night?
Fast fallen now,
or are these deeper middle hours,
or will an unseen horizon
II. On a Day after Tomorrow.
We walk together through
Fruits strewn on the orchard floor,
Autumn flesh split open
Revealing the seed reserved
For days yet to come
But I see the tree with one
Left aloft and pick it for Anna
since it is for the present time.
Lift up again,
age-worn mountains laid low,
fruitful grains of frost-burned wheat
you who lie in the dust of the death.
Rise, for your maker is risen again.