Fall 2008, Volume 5

Poetry by Gerald Yelle

Yes It Was

It was the largest morning any of us
had ever witnessed. It rushed over
the horizon & you'd have thought
all the laundry had gotten up &
hung itself to dry—it was such an
optimist morning. Clearly the clear
bells rang. Openly gay sermons
were sung. Angela buried her
recently purchased bulbs & the
bicycles bulged with the noise of
compressed air, crowds of sealed
air raging to burst through the walls
of their tires. No cars moved.
A few birds refused to be believed.
Hot sands from yesterday's furnace
took the cool air of the night &
bristled in anticipation of its role
as the new face of an ancient planet.
It was the largest morning—even
our feet shone with new pride. Music
blasted from radios long thought
dead—guitars with young men to
play them, their voices raw with
loud desire, suppressed belches,
slow news. It was by far the largest
morning. There was no way anyone
could spend it. All we could do
was sit back & take as much of it
in as we quietly could—because
even with music it was quiet
(The morning was so large that
sound itself got lost in it. One
minute you heard the guitars—the
crows & the sparrows&mdash& the
next this large silence descended
over everything, asserting nothing
—but suppressing nothing either)
& then the largest morning suddenly
expanded—& we really started
waking up to obligations. It was
like we'd been living in a kettle &
the lid was blown off by a strong,
gentle wind, or taken by a hand
—was it God's? Who's to say? The
largest morning welcomes all levels
of belief & attempts at explanation.
It's big enough to justify itself,
though none of us can follow the
argument. It has something to do
with the way the sun rose (see
Emily for a detailed description)
—but it has to do with the size of
the sun too & the sky it rose into,
the clouds it lit up & shoved aside
so that its rays touched the roofs
& windows, treetops casting
shadows—the way we were ready
for it after years of trial & error
where maybe mornings weren't
really small, maybe it was our
minds that were unable to see
that this was something large,
something with the potential to
wake us up in ways we'd never
been awakened—& yet there was
nothing we could do but try to
take it in: The largest morning,
almost the dawn of a new era.
Too bad it wouldn't last. Maybe
held onto long enough, it would
yield itself up to the largest after—
noon, the largest day, the longest
night, or maybe we'd go timeless.

BIO:  "I currently have poems on Juked and The Pedestal, in print in Argestes and The Comstock Review."