Though we are born Clutch-fisted, when we die
We spread our Palmes, and let the world slip by

—William Austin, 1587–1634

He buried his father in March. The preacher preached
hellfire—it was that long ago—the creeks were all in flood and
the sky had surrendered to the lion. The organ moaned its
tinny, electric pulse and the chrysanthemums were cloying
and sour. He had hung his head and stepped outside for a
cigarette. Although he didn’t really laugh, the sky did suddenly
empty its rain and the wind pull up its skirts and run free,
rising into roaring. And far to the west, the black surf of
storm stumbled, and a blue seam of horizon lit with pink and

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Marc Harshman is the author of the poetry collection, Green-Silver and Silent and All That Feeds Us: The West Virginia Poems. His periodical publications include The Georgia Review, The ProgressiveRoanoke Review, Bayou, and Shenandoah. His eleven children’s books include The Storm, and three new children’s titles are forthcoming. Marc is the poet laureate of West Virginia and lives in Wheeling.

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