"Lightning Strike in Paradise"
Click here to listen to Andrew Hudgins read this poem.
Jesus-the-wind combs Jesus-the-rye and shakes the limbs of Jesus-the-scrub-pine-and-alder, while a tractor, disking the rye, churns into the sunset red clouds of Jesus. Jesus-the-bank-of-young-ferns fringes Jesus-the-sluggish-and-rocky-stream rich with tadpoles, crayfish and almost invisible minnows, all Jesus Himself. Jesus-the-green-worm inches up air. He humps His body, pulls His end to His middle, and pushes upward to where he started, climbing His own fine thread until a gust of Jesus snaps the silk and sends Him flying. Jesus-the-lightning explodes an oak. Jesus-the-thunder reverberates through green leaves, the Jesus leaves, silencing the Jesus-chitter of squirrels, wrens and cicadas, and in the distance the tractor never stops grinding rye into the earth, preparing it for seed, as the gunpowder smell of nitrogen settles over heaven.
Andrew Hudgins' most recent book is Shut Up, You're Fine: Poems for Very, Very Bad Children. His new book American Rendering: New and Selected Poems is due out in April. He teaches at the Ohio State University.
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