Aground (poem)

Pastel drawing of two figures seated

 

 

Aground

 

Soldiers, duty dull    dull and foul

made penalty by bouts of deluge it is no use

to say the farmers need it

we’ll all of us eat the fruits

but today is different, the other asks, how then…

For, don’t we? put a thousand prisoners to the sword

But yet we drink and bathe in the waters below

Drink the wine of grapes and eat the corn

The insurrectionists, the border wolves…

the gods of conquered peoples live, the priests say

if they are worshipped, and…

Recall that man who stirred the coals

thinking the fire gone out—

You prattle, but devils have ears, answers the elder

it won’t dispel the drought, I grant you

I feel the gods are deaf to us and laugh

Rain on the prisoners to give them ease…see, that one is dead

the leather that binds his wrists weighed slack

If the Lawmaker felt mollified by the Emperor’s harsh hand…

well, you’ll see, it will be another sickly spring

when the seed sprouts and withers, it is in that

we see their sport. I suppose, whom the gods would destroy

they first make hope

 

 


Aground

Oil painting collage with hosiery portraying dead fishChum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(2020, Stephanie Foster)

 

 

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