The Sunsets of Joel
We see a church from afar
and a bell, tolling the meek
into recollection, announcing
the hour. A plant grows
stedily by the sill with
a little care and some light.
And I wonder what it would
dream of, if it could dream.
Distance is paraphrased into
the strange formations of clouds,
none of them ever the same.
And while my friend begins playing
an old song, I forget why I am
heavy with loss. It must be the view
from that window. It must be
the weak red arcs of heat that
reach me and form soft-edged
tiles of sunlight in the room.
Wherever we are, we are home
at the end of the day. Each end
something good and old, announcing
that it is time you stare out into that great
dome, its billion feathers wiping blue away,
transcending body, lifting up the night.
Every day, come summer, I fear for
the limitations of our two-toned seasons
and for my garden. And I hate leaving
the house for vacations. Because
the equation is simple enough:
the tragedy of wailing afternoons
filled with fire trucks and heated
news about weather, or wilting
flowers. These tropical depressions,
they attend to the greenhouse
like a crowded congregation
waiting for glorious homilies,
that assuring voice of the pastor
who loves greenery and God
yet offering nothing more than
coming months of restless clouds
finally obeying, some holy water
for cleansing, or warm wine. Also,
another garden teeming with
just the right amount of rain-
fallen apples: fiery red, fresh,
and sinless come harvest time.