Easter Dawn, Mt. Palomar, California
By Peter Gorham
On the edge of a stand of small sequoias
blue and shaggy still with darkness in
this last hour that the stars can still speak
in their high white voices, I wait while
shadows fall like palm leaves from the eastern sky.
In this hour the sound of sirens will rake the cities
fixing the newly dead into their final faces,
and a tomb will click shut like a padlock.
In this hour the tin cities stand grey and naked
under the last stars, while the rivers of lead
falter and pool in the sleeping suburbs.
No one is waiting for the sky
To possess them with a song of diamonds.
But here in these low mountains where the land
has begun to rise and glisten, someone has
unlocked the door of the east. Trees and grasses
simmer like teapots in the low fire of the air.
Springs spill like liquor from the earth. The hands
of the forests are full of aces, and the sky
is wide and strung with bright opal.
Once in this same light, two women came first
to someplace where death had spent the last of its iron coins.
They found the locks were broken. They found death
shot full of the arrows of God’s peace.
They ran like children until their feet became
more beautiful than any dawn!