Groundviews

Miracle on the Green

I have forgotten last week,
and last year took place
inside a long glass
twinkling with snow dust.

Where are we now,
The year racing
perenially and not
one stab in the archives,

cutting off a slab
of poetry to prepare
and publish for the
Palm Sunday meal,

which is always
fatefully a week ahead
of the cross, but arrives
suddenly, and we venture

to church in search
of the palms, roast
in the oven, children
cooing in the eaves

of memory. Do you
recall the cow and how
she kicked. just missing
poor Cissy, and we had

to run inside, faces
down, for milk
and tea and a good
scolding?

Do you remember
the nation’s birth,
independence? Let us
return to that time,

to parliament
and pony rides
on Galle Face Green.
This miracle of 2015,

the Pope saying
Mass and the world
waving hurrah
far beyond the shore,

exiles on the way back,
poets of doom
written out of
songs of experience,

everybody smiling,
elephants bedecked,
bowing to Christ’s
representative, order,

peace, hope, friendship,
the concepts of the day,
no more white vans,
disappearance of bribes,

Chinese contracts.
The world according
to Walt Disney. I am
thrilled and circumspect.

What if that old adage
about the island
where all is beauty
and only Man is vile

insists on its royalties,
that some thug might
up end the freedom cart,
that democracy will

only be velvet and make
spring for a time? Idle
thoughts. God, help me

silence them, the Pope
in Colombo on the Green,
saying come home,
come clean.

13 January 2015. AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino via News Times