November 4’s as bleak as some
contorted wish, the trees a mess
of almost-naked spiny branches,
leaves not dead enough to pinwheel
down and join the other corpses on the lawn.
The sky’s wrung out, a mind exhausted
by how merciless the wrong idea
of God can be, the murders, rapes
and tortures that ensue, the brain
an ice machine, the heart a fist.
God just makes things worse,
inhumanly, an ancient name
upon a map, a father’s loathsome curse.
For every tribe, the same.
The geese are screaming
in the sky, Keep up till we get home!
And then the screaming disappears,
but terror in the heart remains, the fear
that keeps us craven and alone.
by Ed Hack
Editor’s Note: Sometimes meter strangles a poem so that the meaning is lost, and sometimes, as in this poem, meter is all that makes sense out of tragic chaos.