The Sky in January: A Poem


A butterfly flutters by

A breeze with enough daylight left to enjoy it

Before the sky falls in January.

There is a hammering behind us.

Someone fixing something broken.

A newly painted house across the street.

More Black Lives Matter signs nearby to go with ours.

A “Sale Pending” sign next door.

Democracy pending signs everywhere.

The wife was filled with hatred and jealousy.

She didn’t like seeing our old car parked in her line of sight.

The quiet older husband. She left months ago.

Our old car has been replaced. The house is now empty.

The sale has been pending for a few weeks.

We see no furniture, and wonder if he sleeps on the wood floor.

Neighbors will move in before the sky falls in January.

The dawn was heavy with fog. A chilly morning soup.

The day moved oddly. Students gathered together in protest, walking out.

I wanted to join them, but our staff stayed, planning something for a later date.

I had eight students in the morning. Later, only two.

I want the students to gather their strength and stay committed.

They will need more than anger to sustain them in a struggle for their rights.

What will it feel like for them when the sky falls in January?

There is a heaviness now. A sense of impending chaos to the days.

Another news item about the transition team and the uncertainties of tomorrow.

When the sky falls in January.

The people have only spoken to their like-minded people.

The people have not spoken in any universal tongue.

Not with any notes to sustain their vile rhetoric.

A dull thud doesn’t reverberate.

There is only silence until the sky falls in January.

Give him a chance, they say. We have to, they say.

But our conscience is never wrong, we say.

Four years is much too long, we say.

Who will hold up our sky, when it begins to fall in January?

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