“Time lost its absolute character . . . ”

–Einstein

The Wilsons lived across the street,

and when kids knocked,

he gave us apples after school.

Years later we read she died of head wounds,

the hobo stepping in her blood,

running without taking anything.

I fly to my old neighborhood,

a street God kept so calm

the houses might have been

stitched on quilt squares.

When sunlight twists, I remember:

Mr. Wilson through a window,

shouting. Raising a hammer.

Then everything I thought gives way.

I fall in the giddy arc

from adoration into loathing,

clutching anything to hang onto

the way we grasp the arm rests

in the plane before

the pilot pitches us into space,

the spider web of metal quivering

around us.

What street can we be safe on?

Even the earth we cling to

is nothing but a twirling ball,

singing through a dark void,

and our faces, breasting the wind,

eyes dreaming like the figureheads on ships.

Even God is motion.

Articles by Jeanne Murray Walker

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