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‘Atomic Bomb, Rising Sea’ and other poems by James P. Goss

By: James P. Goss

Atomic Bomb, Rising Sea

Rejoice in the time
of your betrayal.
Let it bring you
to tears,
the soft light
etching your face
with mercy.

Doing battle,
your energy declines
along with the earnest convictions
so fondly embraced in your youth.



I walk through and around
the twisted girders of rusty steel,
the tent shaped copper roof,
slag heaps of concrete
edging onto the sidewalks.
A giant bulldozer moves
tirelessly across the rubble
while a worker sprays water
to keep down the dust.
People linger nearby
maybe they are thinking:
“Something from the past has fallen.”
“An event has passed us by.”

A week later
the pale yellow bricks
and the copper roof
have been cleared away.
On the square earthen basement
pit long cement pilings rest
in lieu of the foundations mass.

A building in progress
a poem in the works,
each piece deliberate
a child with their blocks,
necessary, freewheeling.

The building in my mind,
unlike the old stone relic,
resists being torn down,
yields only to me.


Crossing Polk County

He revels in smells
fresh summer rain
on tar and tufted grass,

rides the mulberry flat
scattershot line
soaked in a wet-wash of green.

August hot as a telegraph wire
stretched down Route 60
to home.

Railroad crossing guards
a totem
for the wandering boy.

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