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The book The House of the World has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and is now available on Amazon.

The Day After: An Atomic Allegory

The day after all the bombs had fallen,
I took a walk.
The doughnut shop had doughnuts
and I ordered two,
one with frosting,
the other glazed with atomic dust.
I ate them outside for reassurance.
All the buildings were standing
and the dust was wafted by the breeze
off the sidewalk.

everything was normal.
The world was still intact.
Even a second doughnut
tasted less radioactive.
It was an academic exercise,
a rhetorical reprieve,
a philosophic conundrum,
to contemplate the end of the world,
to see actors shuffle about
looking for rings
and yesterday’s newspaper.

Everything a junk pile,
not even rusty yet.
The fallout drifting like snow
and I sighed in relief,
in contentment.
The end of the world was easier
than the middle.
All’s well with the world I thought,
feeling the hair stand up on my head,
a snake travel up my back.

One device.
One hydrogen smackola,
could with its little switches
vaporize a hundred square miles,
rain picnics over the horizon.
But it didn’t happen.
All 30,000 of our little brothers
are resting snuggled in their silos,
secure in their submarines,
locked in the bay of the bombers,
secured, fed, sleeping.
All’s well with the world.
Hell picking at the lock.

Published inIndex of all Poems