Author's Note: I’m writing this a few days before the election. I hope we can all look back at the “menace in the air,” and smile at how it turned out.
In the Air
“There is a menace in the air Of tragedies in the making” Charles Simic You feel it sure as autumn, the way jays dive and screech around the river birch. Your mother calls and calls, but her voice is lost in the wind. Your father has limped home late. His briefcase has torn, his shirt hangs in rags. Could it be dogs again, or the human gang? Some accident on the subway, or a tumble in brambles near the high school field? Across the yard a fox limps into weeds. Is it rabid, your brother wants to know, have you seen this one before? In the living room, the TV blares, another murder, another storm. Your sister hides in the attic. She has broken the necks on all her dolls. There will be much to discuss. Early this morning deer came down to drink at the pond. The air felt cold, not quite winter, and they seemed to shiver, or shimmer, just before they disappeared.
Reading Quantum Physics and the End of the World
Lately I’ve become fascinated with physical decay, how mold grows on the sleeping bags, how the stairs buckle a little over time. I’ve watched with interest as the days dwindle toward the darkest hours, looked out at the waning moon as the dark pond begins to freeze. All night I hear boots stomping in the yard, but when I drag myself from the warm sheets, nothing is there, only the streetlight and the shadows of trees. I’m forbidden to watch the news, so I read physics and a novel about the end of the world. It’s a mega storm, and it comes while people are having a drink by the side of the pool. Meanwhile, quantum mechanics shows that each particle takes every possible path through a slit screen. If I were an electron, I could travel at the speed of light, which would mean that no time would pass from my point of view and I would stay forever young. But now I have a headache and my Facebook friends are weeping. Those boots again, and now a rustling in the trees. I may be falling, surrendered to gravity’s effects, which makes me weightless for now as I hurtle toward the earth in the early evening rain.
©2020 Steve Klepetar
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to tell him or her. You might say what it is about the poem that moves you. Writing to the author is the beginning of community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -JL