Earth, Hearing Her Children Cry Out Sharp Like Broken Pottery, Shrinks1 min read


Jon Olsen
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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

    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.

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