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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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The Minister’s Last Morning

 

 “He asked me, 'Why?’ I just said I was sorry.”

                                                                   —Mary Winkler

 

 

In Tennessee, morning clouded. Gray light fell

as the dirt-water day began its crawl, crib to tomb.

But whatever the secrets, the house can’t tell.

 

The young wife lifted the shotgun, loaded with shell.

            Blank as a child, she’d tell the court she felt a strange boom

as the morning clouded, and gray light fell

 

through the ruffled bedrooms the girls knew so well.

How much did they hear as his red back bloomed?

Whatever the secrets, the house can’t tell.

 

His parents keep the girls, but fear soon she’ll

walk free—a brief sentence gaveled in the courtroom.

When the morning clouded and gray light fell,

 

if she’d endured forced sex, pain towering well

beyond rage against the man who was her groom—

whatever the secrets, the house can’t tell.  

 

She buckled the girls in, slammed the door like a cell.

The phone ripped free, he finished bleeding in their room.

Outside, the morning clouded and gray light fell

on whatever secrets the house can’t tell.


                                     -Amie Sharp 


 

 

The Evening and the Morning


Grand Canyon

 

 

When radiance fell on the water-sculpted

gorge as if night-panes had dropped

 

from the sky, first sunlight climbing

the chasm’s high side, we saw the whole

 

of the jagged valley lit before us

as if legions of titans had carved

 

these stacks of reddish-brown ridges

into temples now named for Solomon,

 

Isis, Shiva—their shovels a rumble

as the echo unrolled across the flat-lands,

 

and the sand fell down like rain.

And when the moon slung its crescent

 

against the evening, the pinnacled shadows

watchtowers against the cascading

 

night, we saw ourselves as specks

of canyon-shadow—miniscule much

 

too long a word to describe us.

 


                                 -Amie Sharp 




Elizabeth

 

 

My most beautiful student doesn’t know

her own nascent splendor.

Her freshman classmates see a face

stamped with freckles, not the way  

 

those brown specks frame hazel eyes, each

impressionist dot random

and precise. They note a thickness of limbs,

not a numinous blooming grace.

 

The boys look past her to the slender.

She surveys their horseplay,

and raises her hand with a question of England

in Shakespeare’s time—eyes light

 

and sharp as she fills her paper with squiggles

about the fiery monarch and her

infamous will. She doesn’t fidget when she stands

alone in front of the class to read

 

her favorite poem, a pink clip clasping

her burnished red hair. She gathers

her books to leave and shimmers

her singular beauty all through the school.

  

                                                      -Amie Sharp