In the Bad Days

Kevin Prufer

I am writing to you

                                   from deep in the bad days,

hoping you will hear me

                                           wherever you are,

far away

               in a better time —


In a better time,

                           hoping you will hear me,

far away,

                wherever you are:

I came upon a heron

                                    late at night,

deep in these bad days.


Late tonight,

                         deep in our bad days,

he plucked a frog from the waterfilled ditch.

His eye

               was black glass. I am writing

to you,

               wherever you are


late in my bad days.

                                  The frog’s neck

was broken,

                      so its legs dangled.

The heron eyed me


from the wet ditch.

                                  I am writing to you


from deep in the black days.

                                                  The dead


                    I watched from the sidewalk.

The heron’s glass eye

                                    eyed me

in the streetlight’s glare.

                                        Wherever you are


in a better time:

people were dying.

                                I am writing to tell you

people are dying.

                              Remember that

while you tie your shoes

to go for your walk

                                through the song-filled


            through the beautiful night

of another time.


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