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Unlikely Thoughts in a Time of Peril | Aftermath

By Marilyn L. Taylor


Unlikely Thoughts in a Time of Peril


Wait!   A miracle could happen here.

Just look at the moon—is it turning blue

tonight?  And can it possibly be true

that’s not an ambulance you hear out there

but the fat lady singing, loud and clear?

Could the cows (woefully overdue)

be coming home at last?  I challenge you

to deny a sudden sweetness in the air.


On the other hand, it’s understood

that if we dream too soon about reviving

this forsaken, sickly planet on a tide

of hope, we cut our chances of surviving.

Yet how can we deny that something good,

however inexplicable, is thriving?





Of time you would make a stream upon whose bank

                                                you would sit and watch its flowing.


                                                                                    —Kahlil Gibran


Now I can watch the river.

Now, from this melting oxbow

where I sit with my senses steeping

in the sun, I am witness to the torrent,

but not yet of it.


Soon my perspective will be different.

I will be running with the groundwater

from grave to creek to roaring channel

where, among sticks and gravel

I will wash downstream with the other detritus,

remnants of what once was leaf, garden, gardener,


past the still-invisible piers and posts

of the next generation and the next and next

whose silver bridges

will one day arch, shimmering,

over the strange blue boats

of the remote unborn.


Marilyn L. Taylor, former Poet Laureate of the state of Wisconsin and the city of Milwaukee, is the author of six poetry collections. Her award-winning work has appeared in many anthologies and journals, including Poetry, American Scholar, Measure, and Light Poetry Journal.