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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Richard Robbins

Secret Father Apocalypse

At the siren's first blare, the radio directed how far and to what elevation he needed to ascend to avoid the tsunami. Finches swarmed in S-patterns across a gray west. Out the window screen of the diner floated the voice of Paul Robeson in its lowest register. He might have settled with his neighbors. He might have prayed to the god, the one who recognized his music, to save him. Instead, Secret Father stayed calm as others grew troubled, scratching their forearms raw, smashing their Thunderbirds into the nearest tree. Even when the tidal surge arrived, hundreds of citizens struggled to close a suitcase. A woman pursed her lips just as the ebbing seized her. And so it came to pass the betrayal had found him. Like an expert dog, it found his hillside retreat, and the constant pounding, the constant spray of crashing waves finally drew him past collateral bodies and down its throat, into the living waters.

Richard Robbins was raised in California and Montana. His most recent poetry collections are Radioactive City and Other Americas. Robbins currently directs the creative writing program and Good Thunder Reading Series at Minnesota State University, Mankato.



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