paprika

Smoldering Fires, Clarence Holbrook Carter, 1904-2000 Columbus Museum of Art

late afternoon
in the heat rusted
old testament backyard
of the unwanted
a fallen madonna clings
to her god, her son
she says he watches
the trains in amazement
he is blind
but she solemnly swears
he counts every red car
he has his father’s eyes
she crows matter-of-factly
he nods off smiling
as slag heaps belch
volcanic burnt offerings
scorching the sky paprika

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