Errol Miller

For Antioch and Mars Hill

“And somehow we shall live this down.”
              — Virginia Armitage McCall

There will be other days
and we shall experience springtime together
tomorrow, a new blue way, and afterwards
in the dimlit neon arcades of Planet Earth
we shall begin again in the quest
for another star in the crown of literature
this Saturday-night version of slummy Southside hurting
wanting and needing, exorcised of what has been before
we drift like long-lost Jazz Age legends rowing
in little flesh boats, we go past Niagara’s chill
far past Des Moines on sleepless winter nights
that elevated country place on red clay
where fireflies illuminate twilight
and a nightingale from Paris in the 20s
searches for lost generations among
misty places looking out upon the gay facade
of morning masquerade, to the North
two stick people from an earlier wartorn era
huddle in Russian snow, soon
old mates will escort us to muddy Zion
past the rustic wooden barns of nude November
past the icehouse and the faded zinnias
past Frost’s shrouded road not taken
to a dreamy world of otherworlds
where mad grey storks flap away delirious
and the collected poems of Sylvia Plath
lie sprawled on distant shores
like harvest fruit drying on tin roofs
this is the mundane promise and the prize
out past Star City’s concerto
where homeward-bound doesn’t mean a thing
and the random descent of December
is upon the land
moon-blue and intricate
etched into the ivory memory
and flickering images
of anemic tenants lamenting
among sulfuric socked-in stars.