August, 2018


Dear Ones—We’ve come from many corners

of our world to this August weekend

of plays and the lanterns that light our way

up the hill, out of the wars and storm

of this runaway century into the trials

and tears of other worlds—last night

the recruiting officers came through town

and told the old men’s fortunes, took

the young men off to war, left the girls

to weep—and yesterday afternoon,

two brothers, one black, one white,

in South African eyes, fought

in the one room that they shared.


We’ve fled the floods of microbursts—

eight to fifteen inches washing out roads

and railroad beds, leaking through

basements and roofs. Under the house

we stay in tonight something has died

not so long ago. Sometime soon we’ll be past

the tipping point of climate change,

a mob of the displaced with nowhere

to go, howling at the gates; or meeting

in secret circles of knitters and quilters,

poets and artists, chronicling

for some future age our terrifying tilt.