Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2015  Vol. 14 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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The Age of Miracles

In the Forest of Moär beyond the Trask farm
stood a pyramid of red stones. Old as the land,
some said. Others said that druids had built it
and had gone feral—shunning language, even
clothing. They had eaten meat off the carcass.

No one in town had actually seen the pyramid.
Indeed, a few said that it did not exist—except
in the dreams of those careless wanderers who
approached the forest, or those who, at night,
fell asleep before having closed their windows.

Not a word of this to the children, they all insisted.
On his morning walks, Mal talked to the men
who smoked their pipes by the war memorial.
They recounted stories of their ancestors who
had caught fire merely by looking at the forest.

Once, a hot wind had blown from the north,
over Moär, bearing the reek of burning flesh.
At least two dozen folk that day had suffered
pains in the stomach or issues of blood from
the mouth. None had ever recovered entirely.

Another time, Uriah Hellman, the invalid, had
been seen two places at once: in his chamber,
reading aloud passages from the Good Book,
and more than a mile away, pouring kerosene
in a triangle around Lionel Matheson’s house.

The men said that the age of miracles had not
ended. Three Trask boys had come into town
the same day that Mal had taken up residence.
No one had known them, but like every Trask
they had worn on their feet only wraps of skin.

Mal took to shutting his windows at nightfall.
Before bed he lit the lamps in the living room
and started the Victrola—records of hit songs.
But lamps went out before dawn, and records
lasted only so long, music giving way to a hiss.  end  

   Between the Something and the Nothing . . .
Editor’s Commentary on Kimbrell’s Form and Process

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