The Happening

By Josh Luckenbach

Featured Art: Birds of Freedom by Kourosh Nejad

Things went on right up until the moment of it—
the hummingbirds whirred at the trumpet honeysuckle,
and the aphids scaled the ivy on the brick wall
facing out toward the new construction across the road
and the mountains and highways beyond
where the people in cars traveled distances near or far
with their usual haste or leisure to sit in offices
or to attend the weddings and the births
which, it seemed, were more and merrier than ever before;

and afterward, the strangest part was that things
went on then too—the packages arrived on time,
the lights turned on and off at the flipping of the switch,
the goldfinches returned in late morning to flit
among the zinnias near the deer netting, and the clouds
drifted as they had the day before in the same ageless sky
that often feels too vast for us to have a place in it,
and yet, for the time being, we do, as now I occupy
this patch of grass and tell my hand to move and it does. 

Josh Luckenbach’s recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Southern Review, Shenandoah, Nimrod, Birmingham Poetry Review, Nashville Review, and elsewhere. He received an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arkansas, and he currently serves as the managing editor for Iron Horse Literary Review.

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