The World is Not Coming to an End

A Poem by Michael H. Brownstein

One one by four oak plank,
a water logged salt stained antler of driftwood,
the soft skin of butternut bark and scar.

The world is coming to an end, she said,
and the young girl down the street
tied a dog’s leash around her neck
and went for broke. Elsewhere,
a dust of clouds rose from the shoreline,
smoke from a mountain shaft tinged the air,
an airplane let loose flames that blackened in the light.

How much strength to rise each morning,
eyes injured on a disfigured face,
the rocking of the body, the rhythm of what is heard
and what is not heard.

The world is coming to an end, she said,
and a boy was born to the mother of a soldier,
the son of a veteran in another round of war.
Count the fingers, count the toes,
how does his face look?

Years will go by,
a tree will mature and grow strong.
The world will not come to an end.

Let’s gather wood on the beach near the dunes.
You know the place–down the thick sand trail,
across a few ridges, near the graveyard of branches
where leaf changes to stone.

Once we dug a hole in the sand, placed sleeping bags
for flooring, built a roof with whatever wood
we could find. Openings filled themselves with night
and we slept well.

First published in poetrysuperhighway.com

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