Mark Saba



In 1985 or thereabouts
my mother visited Reverend Edith
who saw through time. She lived

in the dirtiest part of town
under a belching steel mill. First
she held my mother’s hand

and together they said the Our Father.
My mother, who must have recited it
ten thousand times, said she felt

every word
for the first time. Reverend Edith
looked at my mother, told her

she had a sister who had passed,
a husband too, then a few words
about each of her children. One

was very thin, and worried. He lived
far away. But you tell him not to worry
because in April the heavens will open up

and he will become
very successful.
I waited daily. I lost my job,
had no place to live. No one

to hold me. It was April.
Things got worse. By the end of the month
I was sure it had been the worst time

of my life. I’ve been waiting for Aprils
ever since, and they have come and gone
twenty-seven times, taking all their

beauty with them, leaving me sneezing
in May. But today, April 10, 2012
I found myself staring out the kitchen window

unable to get excited about anything
but the red quince bush and weeping cherry,
the flicker who had just returned,

and the warmth of my body
against the cold reason of humans,
their bow to tyrannical time.

(Originally posted September 22, 2014)
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