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

 A photo panel shows Pennsylvania Bishops Ronald W. Gainer of Harrisburg, David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh, Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton, Alfred A. Schlert of Allentown, Edward C. Malesic of Greensburg and Lawrence T. Persico of Erie. The Pennsylvania attorney general released a grand jury report Aug. 14 on a months-long investigation into abuse claims spanning a 70-year period in the six dioceses. (CNS photo/courtesy of the dioceses)
The state’s attorney general said that his office’s two-year investigation identified 301 priests who abused children and more than 1,000 victims.
One of the leading novelists of our age on faith, fiction and his distrust of religious institutions.
James T. KeaneAugust 14, 2018
Panel members Ivor Frank and Alexis Jay at a public hearing of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (courtesy of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse)
The new report finds evidence of appalling sexual and physical mistreatment of students as young as 7, as well as a culture of secrecy, at two abbey schools.
David StewartAugust 14, 2018
The Gospel calls on all of us to get past “analysis paralysis,” where direct action is always put off in favor of more research and discernment.
Mary M. McConnahaAugust 14, 2018