illustrated by rhoda penmarq
One night the ceiling opened and I rose up slowly;
Above my house I twisted round, looked down and back
On Nedro Avenue, B Street, and the Heintz factory;
Black smoke billowed from a gaping maw-like stack,
Smoke enveloped me and all was dark;
Like a dead cinder upward I floated and spinned:
I called to God for light, a tiny spark:
He did not answer. The reason? I had sinned.
For fifteen years I stared at the night within my head
And then at last I slept for another fifteen,
Till I awoke firmly bound to a clean white bed.
It’s been several days and now the bed is not so clean,
And neither am I; each night I watch the ceiling yawn,
But I am well-strapped in: I await the dawn.