by Joanna Klink
If there is a world, let me be in it.
Let fires arise and pass. The sky fill with evening air
then sink across the woodlots and porches,
the streams thinning to creeks.
In winter there will be creatures half-locked in ice,
storms blown through iron grates, a drug of whitest ardor.
Let the old hopes be made new.
Let stacks of clouds blacken if they have to
but never let the people in this town go hungry.
Never let them fear cold. If there is a world,
let it not be temporary, like these vague stars.
Let us die when we must. And spinelessness
not overtake us, and privation,
let rain bead across tangled lavender plants.
If there is a world where we feel very little,
let it not be our world. Let worth be worth
and energy action—let blood fly up to the surface skin.
If you are fierce, if you are cynical, halfhearted, pained—
I would sit with you awhile, or walk next to you,
and when we take leave of each other after so many years,
the oaks will toss their branches in wheels of wind
above us—as if it had mattered, all of it,
every second. If there is a world.
"Processional" by Joanna Klink, from EXCERPTS FROM A SECRET PROPHECY, by Joanna Klink, copyright © 2015 Penguin Random House. Used by permission of the poet.