Earth, Hearing Her Children Cry Out Sharp Like Broken Pottery, Shrinks

July 26, 2016


A writer, standup comedian, and unheralded systematic theologian from Outer Dakota, Jon Olsen lives and works in Minneapolis with a beautiful family of humans and cats. His poems have previously been seen in Tales of the Unanticipated, Star*Line, and other places.

The upturned astonished faces
grow small below us as we rise
We hold only the protrusions,
half formed déjà vu memories,
the beautiful sleek skinned thought that
we could have done this before—
but always fell
always shattered on something

The great and steady floor behind us
her billions of understandings
agreements she made
with shadow and light,
with turning and falling
she pauses in her worn orbit
to observe us.
She murmurs to our anxious straining backs:

//I wish in a way ten thousand sunrises cannot unwish
and I dream cornucopias of light for you. //

Even now we've barely
knitted our crooked pieces
seen our longing reshaped
thrown one meager bowl\
to collect the cataracts of the past—
its brute downpours of memory—
and refuse to break back open.

Fire and smoke,
the stratosphere fades before us

And while gravity loosens
lips and teeth bear down
our tongues close
on the roofs of our mouths
in taut whispers

Hold tight now
and tighter still,
the stars are just ahead.
We don't hear her valediction for the roaring:

//O! Just watch how those silver slivers spin in your wake,
until the clouds break apart and you leave me behind.//

© Jon Olsen


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