January 30, 2015

John Philip Johnson

THERE HAVE COME SOFT RAINS

In kindergarten during the Cold War,
mid-day late bells jolted us,
sending us single file into the hallway,
where we sat, pressing our heads
between our knees, waiting.

During one of the bomb drills,
Annette was standing.
My mother said I would talk on and on
about her, about how pretty she was.
I still remember her that day,
curly hair and pretty dress,
looking perturbed the way
little children do.
Why, Annette? There’s nothing
to be upset about—
The bombs won’t get us,
I’ve seen what’s to come—
it is the days, the steady
pounding of days, like gentle rain,
that will be our undoing.

from Rattle #45, Fall 2014
Tribute to Poets of Faith

__________

John Philip Johnson: “I usually don’t talk about this in the literary world, but I’m a born-again Christian who became a Roman Catholic; I read the Bible, say daily Rosaries, and go to church at least every Sunday. I kneel by my bed at night and say my prayers. I believe the world’s problems mostly happen because we don’t love each other like God told us to.” (website)

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