The End
The End

I think it has probably come to pass
The sorry pass you and I
Have been trying to avoid.

I think our time has come:
A new blood strain is taking over the stone.
You and I lie about under the moonless sun
Still unsure of what it is that is burning in us.
We think we can see the small dance
A flat rose-hipped dancer comes
Saying that she is the white passing.

You and I (remember!) came here from
The breast of a river some call "Wonder"
(Others named her "All-Misery.")
The enemy forced his way into us
Through the seven famous entry-ways.
They ate our souls for breakfast,
Our nights for what they called love.

In the meadows there was always
The smell
Of babies, of fecund beasts. They often sacrificed our will
That, they tell us, would
Save us from the leaves of sorrow
That fell from the the tower.
They must turn away to lope along the sea.
The old people (like us) have been taken by too many waves.

And so, you and I Jesus are taken to task
To be the last of the caring Jews,
Pulling the babes from their graves by dawn
(They've told us we can have them all).
We shall leave at sunrise, moving carefully
Along the edges of the falling cross-beams,
Retrieving babes from their graves
Retrieving all others from the fires.

--- Lloyd Carpenter Pettus

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