Susan Jo Russell: Milkweed

In the beginning there is only a milkweed plant
and wind

I used to believe in Heaven, or something like,
and I still love

the Sunday School girl who sits still
on a wooden chair

She wears a striped dress with a wide skirt
that just covers her knees,

white socks, patent leather shoes
that buckle

She believes she is watched

and that one day
she will know everything

In the beginning, they said, there was darkness
and light

What if there is no judgment, no reward, only
what I’ve done

what I’ve left

What if, at the end, there are only milkweed seeds
and wind—

tarmac, scorched earth, a few patches
of good dirt

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