Academic journal article Southern Quarterly

Even Me

Academic journal article Southern Quarterly

Even Me

Article excerpt

When I was less than five years old

I sat beside the powerline pole

that stood just at the edge of yard,

all black and scabbed with creosote tar.

The shaft reached higher than the trees

and smelled of bitter chemistries.

And then I heard a choral hum,

a deeper bass than I had known.

With ear to wood I listened long;

the note went on and on and on.

Was music coming from the ground,

or from the pole so high in wind?

Or was the song from the big wires

that stretched like strings of a guitar

across the road and pasture hill?

There was no breeze that I could feel,

just tension in the wood and cable,

the guy wire pinned in nearby stubble.

The hymn went on, the voice of steel,

of sky and light and woods and field,

the voice of time from the beginning,

before a pulse or heart was beating,

the sound of space beyond the stars,

and in between the atoms' spheres,

the music of eternity,

still audible to even me. …

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