Aphelion Issue 275, Volume 26
August 2022
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End Times

by Thomas Reynolds

Near the mountain top
Stood a crumbling rock bluff

With a thin pine scrub
Growing sideways from wind.

That’s how the people left
Attempted to survive,

As if some wind were always
whipping dust beneath their boots,

Tearing threads of their coats,
Whirling flecks into their eyes.

Even holding lanterns
At the bottom of fruit cellars,

With the world above
then silent as the stars,

one often leaned forward
to keep from blowing away.

Some feral dog or hunger
Was always slipping up behind,

Breathing on backs of hands,
Claws breaking fallen branches.

Something mountainous was always
Closing around one like quicksand,

Or collapsing around one
Like walls of a decrepit shed.

Waking each day, though, one might find
With furious digging

An opening just large enough
to slip through

© 2010 Thomas Reynolds

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