Angels enforce Holy Writ, while others veer
toward the particular

Here, children somersault on grass while the
noonday sun, outstretched as thine hand O Lord 
pours through a suburban home on a dead
parakeet’s cage

On Sundays, her fingertips flicker over her guitar.

With her left hand, she holds the key, with her
right she picks the strings, attending to the
minutiae, attached to every clef and treble

to allow the holy to enter. Touch the smallest
string, turn its decorative spur. No note will
ever disappear from the God Breathed Word

until Tomorrow. Holy tomorrow, but now …

Teaspoonsfuls and bandages and kind words in
the real hard world

What will she say when her children come in?

For God is believed to be more like men than
any animal.

Will she say, Look, he is thereflying so fast

You can’t see him.

Through the tunnel of the body
Through the door of this cage.
Mother to bird mother to child

Tomorrow. Holy tomorrow, but now …

What does she say to herself
as she becomes the child?

Image credit:Alex Bellink

Bruce Alford’s debut full-length poetry collection, TERMINAL SWITCHING, was published by Elk River Review Press in 2007.


Alford received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Alabama and was an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of South Alabama from 2007-2011. He currently lives in Hammond, Louisiana. Before working in academia, he was an inner-city missionary and journalist. You can find out more about Bruce and his work at his website,

bruce-alford.com

, connect with him on Facebook and on Twitter @bruceealford.