Aphelion Issue 281, Volume 27
March 2023
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Lawthorn Cemetery

by Jay Hill

When the season stills and the cattle-ponds lay withering
Like graves along the land, their greyness stretching
Into the hollows, yawning
Through broken leaves and shapeless soil,
The Furies summon us to dance
And shift and sway, like mothers aching
To bring a soul home to understanding.

And first upon fields of daisies and
Tall-grass, the farm-littered horizon, sighing
One heedless hush in arms together, pours
No libation on kindling bundles of sticks for the unknown
God, but shallow breaths of selfish liquor, hinting
Supplication, expecting to wing into myth.
The Furies make us dance too long,
The song there and gone before the wind, occasionally
Heard, forgotten, oddly missed scratched
Like some forsaken limb; or the leaves rubbing
One another was the sound of the land beneath the sky, blowing
Relief: The dichotomy of progress, the quaternity
Of progress, famous among pilgrim children.

Here the oaks root beside elms and persimmons, splintering
Any other under the moonstone, adversely scraping
The changing flesh into bark, here
Where Sunday afternoon shouldn't be without a river or an
Episode and a picnic and a tombstone over on
Lawthorn, for all the gold in Ptolemy, O my
Savior and Lord, drifting
Upon Your feathered lift, taking
In the honeysuckle breezes.

From Carthage into this grave-sewn land, the sleeping
Zeitgeist once hidden in shades and leaves, I
Still cannot give You a life of stone and wood and
Bones, a soul in Your soil, sitting
On hallowed ground; pedestaled footsteps, pedestaled
Seasons, ever as You are, we are not.

© 2013 Jay Hill

Jay Hill recently resumed work on a graduate degree at Texas A&M University - Commerce and is working on a biography of John Coltrane, as well as editing his first attempt at writing a novel.

From 2009 2010, he was a contributor to the online music site, tinymixtapes.com, where he had regular music reviews published, as well as the occasional non-fiction piece. Over the last year, he has had a number of short stories published in online science fiction journals such as 365 Tomorrows.

Find more by Jay Hill in the Author Index.

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