back ~ home ~ up ~ next









Going Under


After the storm an Arctic dawn

lifts frost-smoke from the swelling flood

as a lone doe, freighted with fawn,

trudges across the frozen mud.


Soon we will join the refugees:

woodchucks, skunks, and orchard mice

sharing mammalian miseries

in treelots sheathed with creaking ice.


Our house stands at the riverbank,

too low for dike or barricade

to fend this torrent off its flank.

As cracking ice pans cannonade,


I wait and watch. Disaster comes

with a last hour of normalcy:

in the dining room, chrysanthemums;

on the stereo, a symphony.


Then you arrive at noontime, drunk.

Why change your ways when rivers rise?

I see your watery pupils sunk

in the inward mire we both despise


as Mahlerís hammer-strokes of fate

resound, fortissimo, by threes:

the record snows, an April spate,

and your insidious disease.


Alan Sullivan



© 2002, Alan Sullivan.  Reprinted by
permission of the author.

by Grapholina

back ~ home ~ up ~ next