On a Discharged Firework

(iStock photo/Claudiad)

Only the next day could
The mystery begin,
Its shocking fount of sparks
In darkness now a memory,
And the cooled cylinder
Drowsing on the charred smear
Of driveway. To approach
In the abandoned silence
And lift it up—which has,
You think, by someone been
Forbidden—and to smell
The singed gunpowder, rich
And sweet upon the nose.
The colored wrapper brittle,
Peels back and flakes away.
To strip with thumb and finger
The first and second layer
Of cardboard inlaid circles,
Their leading somewhere deep,
The ashen edges sifting
Down, powdering your knees,
In search of what ingenious
Center that caused it all,
Just hours ago, to flare
Up the obscurity
With brilliance and power
But seldom seen, and never
In that bare heat of daylight.

In search of what ingenious
Center that caused it all,
Just hours ago, to flare

Advertisement

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
More: Poems

The latest from america

These appointments are two important steps in the process of reform of the Vatican media.
Gerard O’ConnellDecember 18, 2018
We hope this helps all you last-minute shoppers. And, don’t worry: You can also use this list as a last-minute gift guide Feast of the Epiphany (we won’t tell).
Vivian CabreraDecember 17, 2018
Maybe this week you could pray to Joseph and ask him to help you respond to the call of the young man whom he helped to raise.
James Martin, S.J.December 17, 2018