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Monday, February 05, 2018


by Jill Crainshaw

Tricolor ribbons—red, green, orange—
Zigged and zagged down
Below the horizon as the sun
Slipped and slid up a frigid February trellis.

No erratic needle and thread could mend
The widening hole; Mr. Dow Jones
Squinted into metallic light—
dove for cover, not meaning to

Stir a beast long-burrowed in down under deeps.
What devilish poetry is this? Crows spread the
Rumor: winter candlesticks cast long shadows
And the hedge-hog, startled, returns to his slumber.

Author's Note: In a peculiar confluence, the Dow Jones lost 666 points Friday (2/2/18). Friday was also Groundhog Day and Candlemas (a day when some Christian traditions bless candles they will use for light throughout the rest of the year). Other Christians associate believe the number 666 to be “the sign of the beast.” My poem emerged out of this confluence of symbols and events.

Jill Crainshaw is a professor at Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, NC.