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How Came What Came Alas

How Came What Came Alas

Came the hammer, so to speak,
the what had been,
for some time, coming. Came
unlike the wrath I had so often
fancied. Came frog song
over pains of open soil.
Came bird song over brimstone.
Came collected. Came prepared.
No one called, with any voice,
me close to it.
No lightning loud to lord
over—the meek lights
of longing only. Came seeming, to me,
at first, unlovely as afterbirth—
came lovely as the body butting
all that is unlovely out.
Come wild, I prayed, come
fire-like upon my undergrowth,
come like the halbert here
upon my candid breast.
But such as would be fit
for such a coming came said,
came weary of the wilderness,
came kennelled in my head.

HeidiLynn Nilsson
first published in Pleiades, vol. 19, no. 2, Summer 1999

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