Volume 21, Number 3

After the Revolution

… we all want to change the world …

A stranger strolled into our town telling
stories. He told of a great ancient dam
across a wild chasm high in the hills
that glower above us and our poor tents.

“Deep inside,” he said, “lie massive turbines,
pistons and gears gone to rust and ruin,
which once churned turgid water into fire
for the houses in the valleys around.”

We listened, but didn’t know what to say.
What is a turbine, what a gear? Fire from
water? Our dark nights pile up like mothers’
tears and the dung-heaps for our cooking fires.

We humored him, gave him a bowl of roast
goat meat and wild rice for his wild lie,
sent him down the trail to the next village.

—Geordie de Boer