Resurrection Is a Sense of Direction

after a line from H.D.'s
"The Flowering of the Rod"

At century's turn, the general discovers
he's obsolete, due for recall.
He clips his tatter of a moustache,
irons the uniform--also raggedy, musty.
He dreams of stars, a milky way
of decorations across his chest, and a brass band
cymbals clashing as he walks down the aisle
to be honored, saluting no one in particular,
the mirror, his darkened pane,

washed clean by last night's rain.
He'll start a war on Tuesday,
dissolve it into various skirmishes
by Friday, yell at the President
for pursuing a treaty, 100 times in the week
without recourse to the outside world. Where
has all his power gone? Why
does he think he commands anything

anymore? He lets go, go go
the things he lived for
with no thought of duty or regret,
to walk about those cavernous halls
where he dwells, selecting an apple
from one of the many decorative fruit bowls,
tasting its sweetness inside
the bitter shiny surface, ready
to chuck the core onto a track

he called My Life and make a dash for it,
having waited years for the dawning
of simple affirmation, a statue
cast to the god of resurgence,
greening with age: now the quick,
new buds opening, sprouting from his cane
as from a living staff, encompass him
and at last, he does not hesitate.

- Cynthia Hogue
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