Tuesday
May062014

Effigy

Russell Brakefield


 

When the end has come, as is
fashionable to imagine these days,
and the land is covered with black
fog or retreating birds, their shadows
dwindled to bare and patchy masses,
the statues will inherit the earth.
The founding fathers will lurch
against the sky and finally take
their place as great distinctions—
white granite against a fiery lake.
In the yards of our childhood
homes, stone sparrows and frogs crafted
from a long gone mother’s hands
will suddenly see themselves, alive
in their brackish wading pools. As it is,
that the past inherits us again. As it is,
Boston suddenly the most populous
city in the United States. Wasp-wasted
or gaining weight from the city’s
sour rain, sleek men and women,
elbows no longer stuck bent, will roam
the streets— the muse, a mirror of muses,
and a boil of falling hawks. So many
dinosaurs and elephants. Spindled lampposts
alive like tyrant trees, and all the yards torn
by their green rust beings. Resurrection,
as life, is either sublime or it isn’t— all
the forgotten beasts are left to forage.