Saturday, June 4, 2011

Unholy Saturday

This poem came across my transom a few months ago. I've delayed giving it to you today because it is set in June. And as the title suggests, it is also about Holy Saturday -- the second day of Easter. So what better day to bring this to you than the first Saturday of June, and while it is still Easter for another week?

May all that binds you be freed, may all that hurts you be healed, may everything that captures you be vanquished. And may your summer be full of crawdads and memories. Blessings on this Holy Saturday.

Unholy Saturday
By Philip Levine

Three boys down by the river
search for crawdads. One has
hammered a spear from a
curtain rod, and head down,
jeans rolled up to his knees, wades
against the river's current.
Barely seven, he's the most
determined. He'll go home
hours from now with nothing
to show for his efforts except
dirt and sweat and that residue
he's unaware of sifting
down from a distant sky
and glinting like threads
of mica across his shoulders.
In the distance someone keeps
calling the names of the brothers
in the same order over
and over, but they don't hear
what with the riverbank gorged
with blue weed patches and all
the birds in hiding. Perhaps no
one is calling and it's only
the voices of the air as
the late light of June hangs on
in the cottonwoods before
the dark whispers the last word.
Photo: Rivana River, Charlottesville, Virginia

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