“On Hearing the Call to Prayer Over the Marcellus Shale on Easter Morning,” by Marilyn McCabe

How like we are crinoids: lily-like, nervous, as a starfish,
many fingered, prying crevice and fissure,
regrowing arms with every loss. A cry, a crying,
a call out, strange song, predawn trembling:
Through the permeable membrane, air

metes its punishment: An egg,
forgotten, now rotten, its inside resembling something
marbled. Things are seldom as hard as they seem.
I believe in this, called what you will;
and if a prayer can rise me breadlike,

so the day is risen. To walk (yea, though I walk)
a dry streambed, pick the sparkle of pyrite, pocket it. Small things
have laid themselves here, becoming in rock the fullness, then
the absence of themselves. A complex equation:

x contains multitudes, contradictions, as it can be
both positive or negative, influenced one day by the preponderance
of greater than nothing; one day by weight of less than.
How can we solve ourselves, as zero is no answer, and x

resides always in the community of variables?
When everything is about to start, sleepless,
stumbling, rise to praise: Still nest. The hay
gleams as if lit. Emergent: a yellow chair, a red. The pond reach.
A swamp reveals the dead pine, the living moss, even as the man’s song ends.


Printed with permission from Marilyn McCabe, copyrighted by Marilyn McCabe @ 2012. This piece originally appeared in Issue No. 13 of the Los Angeles Review.

Author: A Room of Her Own

Share This Post On