Bethany Carlson


Today the wrinkles in the clouds line up
to tell you: something gathers in shades
of cumulonimbus & cerulean arcing
over the shoppers J-walking on Eleventh Avenue,
the Astrovan with Peace Corps bumper sticker,
the blue and white awning of the Sugarloaf Pantry.
The brick through your picture widow
last Thursday could’ve been a sign.
Expect things to work today,
the moisture in the clouds will rise, then snap
over a million American windshields.
Expect to get home at five:fifteen on-the-dot
and expect the meatloaf you’re making
for supper to burn. (Blame
your old oven—go ahead.)
Expect King Lear to slide backward
over your brain, reborn
a poem, the perfect diction
a harmony of syllogism, rising
from each note in your throat. You will
compare Cordelia’s loyalty to
the persistence of your backyard lilies --
(after all, Lent is almost over.)
Now take out the meatloaf, rising
from the oven with crisp alacrity.
Expect the rain to begin falling in creases.

Bethany Carlson is a recent graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University and will be an MFA candidate at the University of Arkansas this fall. She has been published in Caesura, The Cedarville Review, Ruminate Magazine, The Covenant Home Altar, and she also has a poem forthcoming in Wicked Alice. Bethany recently won 2nd place in the poetry division of the 2007 Conference on Christianity & Literature Student Writing Contest, as well as Honorable Mention in the 2008 Utmost Christian Writers Poetry Contest.

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