37 in 1: VAPORS
by Charlotte Renk



One lone candle leaves vanilla vapor trails
as I plumb goodness, tongue tucked to cheek
for crumbs of teacakes or butter cookies—
anything that might sustain us hurricane babies
in our last stand against injustice.

We recall the when before King marched Georgia,
some of us caretakers, not crackers of rights,
but givers to the cause for the civil fight.

Now, we take ironic delight in the still serious
moments where we, pronuba moths drawn
to some Candle of our Lord,* rode silver
pistils until we, little rodeo riders, retired
without clarity to heat's haze, mourning
mirages and losses of justice, pointed boots
in a dog trot toward the river of peace
where, on the brink of leaping, our mothers
or lovers called, and we slipped, instead,
to death by suburban lawnmowers.

Amusing, yes? And in one rainbow instant,
Edgar the Great, no Dick & George the small,
saw power, told few, then chained all dollars
to Hello-Cat buddies while we watched
the vulgarization of black hawks flying.

Now, we summon artists, writers, poets, going…
going… gone to the dry pond where dream catchers
gather legacies of darkness swaddled in colors
of umber, and we sing eulogies, elegies really,
recalling old gods, who knelt with old men
in Garden Park, Michigan, 1897, who crafted
mystery and memories, cookies and cool cats,
connecting to causes, leaving long vapor trails
of hope for children to follow
into that last cloud and rainbow instant.





Illya's Honey Literary Journal

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