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Poetry

after Paul Klee

Under a sky like this,
under the weight
of your gravity,
my robe, my head,
my heart pulled down.
O Lord, you have fashioned
stars and portcullises,
one-eyed dogs, conjured
the terrible, endless
plains where I grew up;
and conjured time
which does not pass here,
and eternity, which does—
groaning out its seconds
forever. Every angel
has an angle, every kneeling
is a prayer, every prayer
a memory—all that wind,
the red-eyed water towers
blinking after dark, the nights
we knelt in the cellar
while the tornados roared.
Is what I’m asking
fewer fields to remember?
Less wind? A hill, a curve,
a tree, less eternity? O
God, who hath connected
the thigh bone to the
knee bone to the shin bone,
who hath invented a presence
for us to bow in the face of,
what could I possibly pray for
but an answer to prayer?
Here, under your thunderheads,
one can kneel in succor or defiance.
This might be either one.


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