Grant’s Migraine – Tuesday Poetry

photo by Malik Earnest via Unsplash

I know what caused

Grant’s Appomattox migraine,

not death

nor politics

or Sheridan’s whereabouts.

It was the slant light of April

nigh to the equinox.

The same light troubling my eyes

on this slatted porch.

It should fall gentle in this season

or so I advise the Crafter

but instead it blotches my retina

sears into my brain

wanders off with a morning

condemns me to dark.

I’ve no armies to command

but I fight the light like Ulysses.

In these seasons of change

the sun sneaks through the cracks

needles through the trees

flares even off this pen I use

to describe its dangers.

We live with an excess of light

and, when it is not high overhead,

an excess of shadow,

And if you raise your eyes

to look at it

if you go unshielded into the bright,

you will be felled

as sure as any furnace can fell.

You will await in some darkened, fetid room

the return of your senses

Or you will soldier on

anticipating that even in the cruel light of the world

some good news must come.

–Alex Joyner

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