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.