Hour Eight

The Last Moments of Heaven


If I had known this would happen, and

if I could have guessed (though how could I) what

my gentleness would bring, I would have been rough

and insistent, but not wanting to scare you, I caged the beast

and honeyed my tongue, thinking that Fate, in its

evenness, had finally run out of torments, and now the hour

had arrived that it may mete out joy, that you would come.


As I walked home the sun was setting in all its colors, round

dinner time, and though I had a deep foreboding, I nonetheless smiled at

the thought you may be waiting for me, that the last

few days silence had been remnants of an old life, sullen as it slouches

into oblivion. I quickened my pace, almost singing as I skipped towards

my home, hoping for joyous news, my own Star of Bethlehem

shining in the parking-lot; you casually (with flowers?) waiting there to

answer in person, and I ignored the pangs of foreknowing what would be

awaiting me upon my arrival, what disastrous new chapter was about to be born.


Golden Shovel poem, borrowing the lines “And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” from W. B. Yeats’ Second Coming.

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