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Friday, February 22, 2013


by Jim Gustafson

"I found one!" --Sasha Zarezina, 8, searching a snow bank in Deputatskoye, Russia, for fragments of a meteor.  New York Times, February 19, 2013

Sasha searches for pieces of the end of time
fallen from the sky. She looks for evidence,
the real stuff from which bad dreams
come down in strange stones,
just the way snow does in Siberia.

Deposited in banks,
left to draw interested children and those
who wonder out loud about the meaning of things
that come from above.

It came in the cold time, to be found
by a fair February maid. Still warm,
its bed of snow melts,
cools light years of falling flames.

Sasha’s small hand holds up
a trace of outer space,
a trophy from her hunt,
raised in wonder.
She shouts:

I found one! I have it in my hand.
We need not fear, for it is small.

She does not see the lasting tremors
glow in the eyes of those who saw
the ball of fire tumble, nor does she hear
the echo in the ears of those
who only heard its rumble.

Sasha’s rock sits by the hearth
reflecting the flames the fight
the arctic winds that run
fast beneath the stars.

Mother and father Zarezina’s fear
the future meteor.
They know better, now, than to trust
the sky when they
walk the land.

Jim Gustafson graduated from Florida Southern College, received his master’s degree from Garrett Theological Seminary at Northwestern University and is a currently pursuing his MFA at the University of Tampa. His latest book, Driving Home, was just released by Aldrich Press. Jim lives in Fort Myers, Florida, where he reads, writes, and pulls weeds.