Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 12 . . .

Antonia Clark works for a medical software company in Burlington, Vermont, where she is known as the Style Queen, both for her command of English grammar and her extensive shoe collection. She has taught creative writing and is co-administrator of an online poetry forum, The Waters. Recent work can be found in The Chimaera, The Innisfree Poetry Journal, Mannequin Envy, MiPOesias, Stirring, and elsewhere. She's in love with France and plays French café music on a sparkly purple accordion.

Lunatic Blues

     by Antonia Clark

There was a lunar eclipse that night and we watched from the meadow.
There was a lunar eclipse, but we could see, through cloud shadow,
the fat copper penny of moon, shrouded like a widow.

Everyone milled around, waiting, as if Jesus were going to appear.
Everyone waited, shivering, as if the meaning of life would come clear.
It was November, below freezing, what were we doing out there?

We'd heard that the president had lied; it was a matter of state.
Some thought he could be forgiven, so much to keep straight—
taxes, war. Others said no excuses. It's already too late.

The thing is, the president said, insane people out there
want to kill every last one of us. They're crazy, filled with despair,
hatred, evil. That's what insanity is. We must stay vigilant, aware.

Slowly, the moon shed her garments as in an exotic
burlesque. The moon shed her garments. It was somehow erotic.
Some kids sang a country-western song, vaguely patriotic.

You gave me that look: we're the last two sane people on earth.
You gave me that look and I kissed you. Our goddess of mirth,
the moon, trailing her gauzy dress, smiled for what it was worth.

A man behind us smirked and said "You gotta get your kicks."
And we laughed, though everything we love is dying and there's no fix.
Laughed till we cried, like there was no tomorrow. Like lunatics.

© 2009 Antonia Clark