Caroline Misner

The New Day Assembly - Poem by Caroline Misner

These old rutted hills once glittered green—
I imagine
they were fresh as copper.
Now the leaves, long since dead
from last autumn’s avalanche,
corrode the slopes and fissures
and the trees seem to mourn,
their late buds blushing
from the tips of twigs.

Faded clapboard houses nestle
in the crooks of valleys,
each in its own tier of decay,
some so pocked with rot
there is scarcely anything left
to hold them up;
and squalid trailers on cinderblocks.
Smoke steams from their chimneys
and ingratiates into the mist.

The New Day Assembly of God
promised better things than this.

Up ahead three crosses rise like pillars,
erect and slim upon the summit;
a chapel delivers the gospel
to the masses that inhabit
these wretched hills.

The hymns they sing rival the warble of the birds,
and home again their lives defy
the promises of the preacher’s spoken words.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 7, 2008

Poem Edited: Thursday, March 25, 2010

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