Jul/Aug 2012 Poetry

Sign Watching

by Michelle McMullin

Sign Watching

I have asked of the Lord concerning His coming; and while asking the Lord, He gave a sign and said, "In the days of Noah I set a bow in the heavens as a sign and token that in any year that the bow should be seen the Lord would not come; but there should be seed time and harvest during that year; but whenever you see the bow withdrawn, it shall be a token that there shall be famine, pestilence, and great distress among the nations, and that the coming of the Messiah is not far distant." —Joseph Smith in Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith

My mother searches not for rainbows,
but for the absence of them.
She waits for the flood like a sea-wife
willing the ocean to return her Captain.
Unable to properly collect her children,
line them up, march them two by two
aboard the ship of her belief,
She collects the signs and semblance.
Food in neat rows, shelves of possibility.
She counts her stores as she does
each crisis of fate, of the weather,
the travesties of government, and every
capricious election of men.
All add tight-hewn planks to her ark.
She builds and waits for the departing of the dove.


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