|Jul/Aug 2016 Poetry|
Photographic Artwork by Victoria Mlady
All Things Are Possible For One Who Believes
"Does one's integrity ever lie in what he is not able to do? I think that usually it does, for free will does not mean one will, but many wills conflicting in one man." —Flannery O'Connor
I. Storm Watching In Door County
I saw it slowly roll into Green Bay—
a faceless smoky grey cluster of clouds
that looked at me and Highway 42
as what it wanted. It was like a creature
from another age our ancestors forgot
about. It grumbled behind me as I drove.
My motel was close. It came down as I
shut my door. The motel's power went out.
It shed violence it perfected before
the creation of our laws. It did pass. Power
came back on. Debris was soon removed.
I never saw a storm that way back home.
In Chicago, I am surrounded by
everything but nature. In Door County,
the locals here, many with Norse bloodlines,
are closer to their old thunder god, Thor.
I'm more like Tom Shiftlet, keeping one step
ahead of grey clouds. I always promise
myself I'll do the right thing tomorrow.
II. Dream Fragment
As I am driving, I can't tell if I'm outside
of Chicago on some back road in Illinois
or in Georgia on my way to Florida—
the steering wheel comes off in my hands.
After a few moments of road panic,
I find myself somewhere to get it fixed.
I start showing it to Flannery O'Connor,
then I realize that the steering wheel is
not only broken but misshapen. I turn
and ask "Am I to be a hitchhiker of God?"
"Well," she says, "Sometimes one is offered
a ride without having to have their thumb out."
III. Working On Firefly Farms Outside Knoxville, Tennessee
with apologies to James Wright
I have not wasted my life—
ignoring the summer sun over my head,
trying my patience, short as a sawed-off shotgun.
Digging in the shadow of my own personal Misfit.
Down the way, as I take a break to think of yesterday,
little lambs in the distance follow one another
into the opportunities that an August afternoon can provide.
Back to my honest shovel,
in that field of sunlight between two paths,
the hardships of past years haunt.
The bleating lambs utter absolutes.
I keep digging, before evening darkens and covers all.
The Misfit now pleads. Only one of us is going back to Chicago.