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Are We Ruined?

Katherine Simmons

The bruised cloud spun and bit the ground
then swung to the east and cut down
the battered trees. The chorus hung silent
until with wavering voice the tree frog
filled the stars with a night song.

The choirmaster spoke from the great red oak—
Friends, we are ruined, besieged.
(The valley wobbled.) (The bones did not breathe.)
We must dance now the dance of the long-legged bird.

Then the stream cracked and the stones whispered,
Fear not! I call your name! Creation birthed
a belly laugh and the clay man’s hollow gut
filled with purple melody.

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