Lynn Powell

Gale Force Hymn

So this is the way the day ends:
with a gnash of teeth and harumphs
from heaven, a black mood smitingthe clueless blue. Clouds snag on the hills
and drag a downpour like torn lace.
Trees writhe like Pentecostals.

But it’s too late to coax God to be good,
too late to grovel with tears or hosannas:
nothing swerves the will of a whirlwind.

It lifts up the loose and unhinged, bangs
them down the street, hurls them at the helpless
glass, till the panicked air

sickens and sirens wail for steeples
and strip joints and trailers strung out
along the soft shoulders of secondary roads–

and nothing’s blesséd but the cockroach,
the mole in the ground, the immortal
roots of the mean buckthorn.


Lynn Powell is the author of two books of poetry, Old & New Testaments and The Zones of Paradise, and a book of nonfiction, Framing Innocence.   Her new poems have also appeared in The Georgia Review, Shenandoah, and The Norton Introduction to Literature.  A native of East Tennessee, she lives and teaches in Oberlin, Ohio.