John McKernan… Twilight



I must be confused if this is my body

I remember planting the nine rows of corn

Down on my knees in the mud after returning from

Snow was still piled high inside the curves of my

Here it is September & a blue plate is piled high with
      steaming white corn in a mirror of oozy yellow

I wonder if that’s only a picture of a machine gun the
      sundial on the patio has aimed at my right eye

The candy striper told everyone in nine rooms how
      she CPR revived a 98-year-old woman who had
fallen on the Big Bear parking lot

She regretted ripping the old woman’s wig &
      breaking her dentures

If this is my body I must be somewhere else

What we are all afraid to say is probably the truth

Even though it sounds like the wind sharpening
      a squadron of icicles

This is not a family newspaper so you can report
      anything and use any kind of language

Even the silence hiding beneath the Atlantic

I plan to decipher & translate it

It is not a rune & has almost no rhyme

The corn does taste delicious

The tomatoes – yellow & red – suggest this patio
should be renamed Mount Olympus

I don’t care if my language lacks the aorist
      & the optative

You just think it is a big red razor blade up there
      in the sky-scythe scraping some more sundial
shadow into the granite ocean

I always enjoy looking backwards – At Dawn
especially – Rosy Fingered Dawn


John McKernan – who grew up in Omaha Nebraska – is now a retired comma herder / Phonics Coach after teaching 41 years at Marshall University. He lives – mostly – in West Virginia where he edits ABZ Press. His most recent book is a selected poems Resurrection of the Dust. He has published poems in The Atlantic Monthly, The Paris Review, The New Yorker, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Journal, Antioch Review, Guernica, Field and many other magazines

Copyright © 2015 by John McKernan







2 thoughts on “John McKernan… Twilight

  1. John McKernan “Twilight” shifts his location and locution to many highlights and
    satellites reflective of our age in a stunning and emerging poem of his spacial nostalgia of innovation that only he can unabashedly pull off.
    bz niditch

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