Jeanne Finley sees dimensions that I hadn’t seen.
On January 13 Alex Joyner posted his stunning new poem, “Sunset in Archer County,” on his Heartlands blog. Coincidentally, that same day an employee of Hawaii’s emergency alert system issued a false alarm that terrified residents and visitors: “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” I read Alex’s poem with that news story hovering over my head. First the poem . . .
Sunset in Archer County
If coyotes howl at sunset
why do we sit in silence?
Staring at our screens
or dumbfounded by our electrified darlings
we let the miracle pass
day after night after day.
That a nuclear furnace on which all life depends
some millions of miles beyond us
is passing once more out of sight
plunging us into dark from which we could
and we chose diversion
instead of braying into the dying light?
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