The Newly Risen

Her scattered gear lived
the free life under the aqueduct:
auto aqueduct: freeway.

Concrete shadows created for blindered drivers
a cathedral arch beneath the underpass,
new underpass then, in eager day-glo gray,

bright with sun north and south,
bright with new concrete
Bright with a public joy of freedom:

bright with fresh shrubbery under the carven concrete
cathedral tracery through which angels imagine themselves
into existence and flight.

New Jerusalem Wonder
(in the slums of a county island),
angels above nave and transom, and . . . ah . . .

Bright gold. Golden daylight.
Silver moon.
Silver sheen in the cool of her nights.

She, who was the sole and soul-priestess
of all this, priestess of the appropriated shopping cart,
whose vision was all this bright temple,

looked into the gentle eyes of our forgiving community,
raised her supplicating arms heaven-ward,
accepting its warm breast and ah! bright wings. And flew!

No. We see what we need to see, seldom seeing.
Look again when you are stopped for that light.
Take your eyes from the angry face of the next driver.

See only:

a pile of your gray detritus abandoned
under a pile of your gray detritus
under our shared detritus of what once was sky.

She is buried now, surely you fail to acknowledge,
under what was

Richard Fenton Sederstrom was raised and lives in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona and the North Woods of Minnesota. Sederstrom is the author of seven books of poetry, his newest book, Icarus Rising, Misadventures in Ascension, published by Jackpine Writers' Bloc, was released last winter. Read other articles by Richard Fenton.