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Martin Willitts Jr

Martin Willits

Martin Willitts Jr has 24 chapbooks including the winner of the Turtle Island Quarterly Editor’s Choice Award, The Wire Fence Holding Back the World (Flowstone Press, 2017), plus 11 full-length collections including The Uncertain Lover (Dos Madres Press, 2018) and Home Coming Celebration (FutureCycle Press, 2019).

But, Boy, what a Day it Has Been

A red sky at night — amber flames,
violet clouds — before a starburst
swarm of galaxies is blanketed
and orange sun collapses
below the horizon, hot, torrid,
a calypso dancer snapping fingers.

Crickets escalate their blazing warnings —
sending out their music
drifting like canoes without paddles
or maple leaves scrumming the water surface
with enflamed fingerprints.

Sweat-heavy, breath-laden with moisture
constricting our lungs, we head towards a bed
soaked with the day’s perspiration.

Even the slight breeze is humid. But, boy,
what a day it was — waves of light
practically sparkled; sunflowers opened
tentative yawns and the bees found them
tempting; and the clanging of the rope
on the pulley meant relief was rising
to the surface like a halleluiah
when a couple celebrate
their first red-faced bawling baby.


In the poor light of late evening,
remembrance goes out.

Let it. Every day has an ending:
a lifetime of stars filling the sky.

Nightjars graze what remains of today,
making chinks in our heart.

Allow this day to end
with its needles of light piercing the dark.

Let multitudes of singing fill the end.
Let exaltations of the soul leap out.
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