Anne Kellas The 2River View, 5.4 (Summer 2001)

Easter, Two Poems


The square black north came.
It stood there blocking the way.

The only solution is exit
said the child, frightened to its mother.

After the square black north came
no one spoke much.

They dug underground.
re-established the connections of wires with telegraph poles

sent messages ahead and plotted to leave.
Not much could go with them.

The square black north sat on the black hill.
It was collecting things, all the things left behind.

It kept tabs on the population
it knew how much whisky was drunk at each pub.

It related the statistics to letters in the Bible
1 Peter, 3 John, 2 Timothy.

It relegated history to the tides.
It sat on the hill and called out numbers.

People collected payouts regularly at the tills
they knew what they were waiting for,

the big one, the big statistic, the enormous
over-riding factor that was even bigger than Russia

the last wave, the final solution, the end of the universe
the big bang, they were waiting for that.

Then they would be free, they said.
Then they would take their freedom with both hands

and eat it like a sacrament
Then they would care about the Middle East

Then they would feed Ethiopia and share their clothes
then they would be kind to children.

Then they would read their signs and get their signifiers right
then they would be romantic Then they would dare,

They would fly. They would travel electric, they would travel dangerously.

Then they would turn off their square black north
and face in another direction

then they would say they knew all the time
that this was the answer

that they had just been

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2River All is well.