Three Thousand Times

The following poem was published in Night-Blooming Cereus and other poems and The Glens Falls Post-Star

Three Thousand Times

As morning unfurled
in noxious plumes,
acrid wings enshrouding

the throbbing city,
we could have sworn
a single heart stopped beating.

Surely wakefulness is near
we say as we piddle, replay,
wail, twitter, fume, turn away,

then yearn to understand
how those who had smiled
and worked and prayed beside us

had both cloaked and stoked
the flames of rage.
Now our view of Liberty

stands unobstructed, our idols
crumbled into the white soot we wear
of others’ bodies—no, our own—

one heart stopped three thousand times.
Resplendent, mysterious,
morning unfurls again in rose and blue.

Come to the table and say a prayer.
The bread is warm. Eat it. Share it.
There is plenty. If it sits too long

it grows crusty. Then the children
pick it up in hunger but
it crumbles before they can eat it,

crumbs cascading to the floor.
Their toys and books seem
haunting now, their solutions

simple—glue and time.
Tell them,
a billion times three thousand equals one.

Kathleen McCoy

About Kathleen McCoy

I'm a poet, a professor, a mother, a wife, a bit of an activist, a lover of the word at Poetry books include Ringing the Changes (Finishing Line Press, 2019), Green and Burning, Glas Agus a Dho (Word Tech, 2016) and More Water Than Words (chapbook, Finishing Line Press, 2017). Books are available from the publishers or Amazon, or order from your local bookseller.
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