Door of Probation


I can smell the cool of the earth
during the quiet night rains
And feel the soak of the after-fields
that comes through the windows.

I can taste the drenching of the land
and see where the sky has broken into patches.

I can know the trust of peasants praying
and sense their child-like hearts.

Before the Great Flood swept dreams away
there were no miracles like these.

The witch-queen sat in the gate
and drove her sheep to slaughter,
As elders cowered in the dawn that sparkled
and spread sunlight on the morning dew.

They did not store their blessings in
remembrance against the nightshade.

They should have brought bread to their brothers
and given new sandals to the aged.

Corn shared with the nighthawk in gratitude
might have delivered them into the ark.

Copyright © 2005 Robert E. Romanelli