Gum

by Eric Farwell

God didn’t hang around
The basement classroom-
The ceiling fan sputtering,
The light fading out-
Where you sweated through
Old school instruction.

How you wished
It could be a kiss on the
Forehead, cradling of arms,
Humming of a holy lullaby.

No, they stalked you like prey,
Screamed they had the snakes,
Sacred bones, and flamed tongues
To show you where heaven begins.

When you left, it rained frogs
For days. Sometimes they’re
Still found in gutters and sidewalk
Cracks, searching for breath, afraid
To share what they’ve seen.

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