Vox Populi

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Jason Irwin: Smoke Rising

To see it as my grandfather saw it

when he was a man of my age

meant hope, food on the table;

a shield against those horrors 

no one would speak of.

Afflictions passed down, 

locked away in attics and basements:

money owed, alcoholism, infidelity,

insanity, or a crippled child.

Back then to see dark clouds of smoke 

rising above the housetops meant 

that God, in his wisdom and mercy,

was still on our side. To see smoke rising 

meant the factories –

those benevolent monstrosities 

that dictate time and identity – were open; 

that iron ore was being transformed 

into steel, and so our dreams –

far flung as our faith –

had not yet turned to rust.

Copyright 2016. From A Blister of Stars by Jason Irwin. Published by Low Ghost Press.

Photo: Tree Hugger

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