This Great Society - Writing

Illustration: Trevor Leyenhorst

Illustration: Trevor Leyenhorst


The lightning lingers on its path to earth—
Then doubles back, blinks, repeats,

Takes pause. I’ve heard discharge is reverse
Static, but here—beyond applause of thunder, on seats

Behind the house as everyone watches this,
No definition fits. Only our ohhs, hmms, plus the hum

Of nighttime bugs. Another flash braids, crosses
Cracks of light on the Kansas horizon

When Dad risks the silence for a fragment, one
We’ve heard before: Uncle Charles struck by a bolt

On his tractor, then returns after supper to get the hay done.
Another filament illumined sky and I remember the hold

On the electric fence of my brother’s dare: my palm
Reaching for the wire, not knowing if it hot, and then

A hesitation before a shock ripped my chest. All
I thought was who was kicking me, an anger before pain, when

I wonder what his volt felt thrown on his back, or stomach,
His knees folded up, his hat gone. What knock raps the mind?

What loosed thought comes, surprises? Like the warm, dry lick
From a cow’s tongue, terrifying at first, then strange, then fine.


This Great Society - Contents


This Great Society - Contents