The morning falls like a book
kicked off a bed by a man coming awake,
a book that opens like the prairie opens
as you walk to the crest of a hill.
The black words of its pages
have slipped up into the black night
like ravens or crows disappearing.
The day is the book of dreams
falling from the bed
and closing on the floor
as eyes close.
The night comes with its book
where your mother’s petticoat
shimmers into a hay wagon
and your father
turns into an axe
as your dead brother flames
into telephone wires
burning across a plain. His voice
sings out of the dark lines,
urging you to do something
you can’t remember.
–Joseph Heithaus (Putnam County)
Joseph Heithaus lives in Greencastle, home of DePauw University, where he’s taught for almost twenty years. He’s the author of Poison Sonnets (David Robert Books, 2012), and co-author of Airmail and Rivers, Rails and Runways (San Francisco Bay Press, 2012 & 2008). His work has appeared in numerous journals, most recently in The Wabash Watershed, Southwest Review, Atlanta Review, and Ruminate.
Indiana Humanities is celebrating National Poetry Month by sharing a poem from an Indiana poet every day in April (hand-selected by Indiana Poet Laureate George Kalamaras). Check in daily to see who is featured next!