Enlightenment in October

On the way home over Kansas
in a Midwest Express at thirty-three
thousand feet; a bright and sunlit
day; below a fall countryside,
some green, but gray and brown
dotted with lakes, small ponds
and rivers curling next to towns.

The waters look like polished
pewter from up here. They shine
bright. The sun is placed right.
Suddenly as we fly past at more
than 500 miles per hour are bright
light illuminations, reflections
through the air-flight flashing.

Midday flying east, like watch fires
explode one by one, lit by the
sun signaling homeward, pewter
rivers crawl with light like snakes
brilliant bands flame with white light.
The ponds detonate one by one
as we pass, some we canít even see

hidden until sun touches them
flash as bright as the lake ones do,
then vanish. The rivers, as they bend
and twist, the bulge of sun like a
swallowed meal travels rapidly
river-length, sun, a mirror-signal
crawling swiftly, snakes of light, race.


Steven Fortney


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