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James Lee Jobe Poems
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Eternity by James Lee Jobe
for C. G. Macdonald, 1956-2006

Charlie, sunrise is a three-legged mongrel dog,

going deaf, already blind in one eye,

answering to the unlikely name, 'Lucky.'

The sky, at gray-blue dawn, is a football field painted

by smiling artists. Each artist has 3 arms, 3 hands, 3 legs.

One leg drags behind, leaving a trail, leaving a mark.

The future resembles a cloudy dream

where the ghosts of all your life

try to tell you something, but what?

Noon is a plate of mashed potatoes and gravy.

Midnight is an ugly chipped plate

that you only use when you are alone.

Sunset is a wise cat who ignores you

even when you are offering food; her conception

of what life is, or isn't, far exceeds our own.

This moment is a desert at midnight,

the hunting moon is full, and owls

fly through a cloudless sky.

The past is a winding, green river valley

deep between pine covered ridges;

what can you make of that?

Night is a secret plant growing inky black against the sky.

When this plant's life is over, then day returns

like a drunken husband who stayed out until breakfast.

A smile is a quick glimpse at the pretty face of hope.

Hope's face is framed by the beautiful night sky.

Hope's face is framed by the gray-blue dawn.

This is your life, these seconds and years

are the music for your only dance. Charlie,

This is the eternity that you get to know.
View James Lee Jobe:  Poems | Biography | Books

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