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Robby Henson

Cracks in Eternity

Today my grandmother is dying.

Soon her wisps of hair,

            grey, thin, and stiff will go

            and the wrinkled pit of her mouth will

            bargain for no more air.


Outside it is winter. The grey face of

four o’clock stares through the window.

                        On black slush—

                        the cars move toward driveways,

                        and supper tables. Down

                        the sun is falling into night,



She gave me coffee when my parents were out,

and always gave me what she would have kept.


There is no reprieve.

The president cannot interfere.

            Her sunken tear duct eyes,

            to the hollow, defleshed taut,

            a patron of the earth will become.


Diggers are filling the grave of my Grandmother.

Diggers are filling mine.

We are born from the black.

                        The light is only a spark

                        jumping off the steel

                        lost before it hits the ground.

                                    And all wills become dids.

                                    And in time, even the eye of an eagle

                                    Could not see the fine crack in eternity

                                    That was my life.

Everything that is,

is between creation and annihilation.

Birth is a death sentence.


                        Flickers of light. Ripples rising in a stream,

                        Sucked into the current, lost in the ultimate darkness.

                        Lost in the blind wind of time.

                        Larger than time.

                        Larger than anything we could know.

                                    A well that

                                    answers no sound

                                    for the dropped rock.


Today my grandmother is dying.

A bible fills the room

With its dusty smoke.

Kleenex crumpled floor.

Wrinkled skin folded into

Piles at the elbow like melted wax.

            Stooped condolences from family friends.

            “No, ma’am, I’m not married. Maybe I’ll teach.

            But I make strange phantasys.”


We are the furrow people.

Scratching a life in the crack between

                        beginning and end.

Planting seeds, and watching them grow

                        fertilized, fortified

                        with do’s


                                    dreams of eternity




Grows—until the mountains shift, the waters tear, the crack closes

and the night screams and opens its arms

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