Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 10 . . .

Elizabeth H. Barbato is an English teacher born and raised through her college years in New England. She ended up in New Jersey, where for fourteen years she has taught writing, drama, and music to every age from kindergarteners to high school seniors. She has spent the past several summers finishing her doctorate, fishing in Vermont, and going to northern Scotland to check out the Picts (there aren't any left). This summer she is going to the Galapagos to investigate the Darwin/Vonnegut connection.

She has pieces in current or forthcoming editions of Apple Valley Review, Poetrybay, The Litchfield Review, Foliate Oak, Stride, SOFTBLOW, and Ghoti.

The Big Bang

     by Elizabeth H. Barbato

           for Jess, Emma, & Lila—when they were twelve

Before there was Light,

God snapped fingers

and almost without music

muscled the world into being.

Some people call this

the Big Bang.

It's not much of a name,

when you think about it.

Perhaps the scientists tried

with their scientist brains

to come up with something,

well, perhaps more mellifluous.

Or at least with a more sophisticated

vocabulary.  Maybe, after sweating

for hours in the lab, they called up

their poet friends, drunk on knowledge.

Give us a name for the beginning,

they slurred.  But the poets,

knowing there can be only One

Logos, carefully hung up.

They changed the messages

on their answering machines—

"Gone Fishing," or "See you real soon!"

chirped their voices on the scratchy tapes.

And they fled the country that night

as Fritz Lang, the director, had years ago

when Hitler, after having seen

his masterpiece Metropolis,

sent men to his door to haul him

into service for the Fuhrer.

I could call that a Little Bang,

that type of resistance, the artist

leaving his home and all his possessions

behind to chase safety into the outer dark.

But here, in the secret Atlantis

of the poets, Fritz is safe, as is anyone

who wonders what God called the event.

© 2008 Elizabeth H. Barbato