Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Tuesday Poem: Slant


Tell all the truth but tell it slant – Emily Dickinson

Beneath the jagged mountains
crossed cranes at dawn
frame the city skyline
buildings propped and braced
with beams and girders
all diagonals
the twisted bridge
the fallen staircase

in the house the sun slants
onto unlevel floorboards
portraits askew on the walls
smile their cockeyed smiles
after each aftershock
crack in the plaster
zigzags across the ceiling

it started in spring
last month you stood in the hallway
snowflakes, blown in
through the gap in the wonky doorway
settled on your shoulders

now across the yard
a spiderweb carried on the wind
one end anchored to the broken spouting
the other angled across the sky
like a kite string
festooned with pink petals


Today is the second anniversary of the 2010 September 4th earthquake. Hard to believe it has been two years already. The poem above is more about the aftermath of the February 22nd quake six months later. It was written last year about this time, but much in it hasn't really changed. The cranes are still there - more of them, in fact, taking buildings down rather than putting new buildings up. At least we have straightened the pictures! It seemed an appropriate moment to let it out into the world.

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leonie wise said...

wow, this is certainly a glimpse into the home of an individual, rather than seeing the quake as a whole. i feel like i have been invited in to share your personal experience somehow and am honoured.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Excellent! The very specific details in this are very affecting.