Monday, April 16, 2012

Independence Day


Got off on a mental tangent this weekend, thinking about a "Doomsday" poetry prompt from Robert Lee Brewer, and wondering how my Amish neighbors might handle an alien invasion...


After the Fourth of July holiday,
there are no famous landmarks left standing.
The Golden Gate Bridge, The Eiffel Tower,
Big Ben, The White House – none of them survive.

But here in town, no one knows much about
all that. At the Village Inn, plain-dressed men
eat heaping plates of scrapple and head cheese
and joke in low German about tourists,

while girls in coverings and tennis shoes
giggle about ketchup and the panties
they got at the U.P. Mall. No one looks
twice at the thing sitting in the corner.

When all you wear is dark pants and blue shirts
everyone else looks like an alien.
You love your enemies, and sympathize
with all who sing: “This world is not my home.”

Outside in the parking lot, the horses
make strange at the iridescent saucer
hitched awkwardly to the post between them
swishing their tails to keep the flies at bay.

When Amos Yoder’s barn is vaporized
the Amish refuse to retaliate.
Instead, volunteers come from miles around
and raise a brand new building by milking time.

This pattern is repeated for a week
until the invaders give up and leave.
At the Village Inn, they are serving pie,
and there are no planes flying overhead.

1 comment:

Mary Mansfield said...

You've done such a wonderful job capturing the clear-thinking sensibility and work ethic of the Amish. Really enjoyed this, Andrew!