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125| Until

Claude Clayton Smith


Until the day that all the stars collapse
upon themselves in clouds of light and dust
(or raise their fissile mushroom heads, perhaps),
as quantum physics proves what physics must —

Until on Earth the oceans split and flood
the poles as if old Moses bade them to,
and cities lie awash in salty blood —
I’ll bide my time and concentrate on you.

Apocalyptic visions slip and slouch
through history to leave us in their wake,
but not a damnéd one, in truth, can vouch
for Truth. Imagination fails. Forsake

the future, then, for this — the day we share
with atoms that bombard the very air!

Professor Emeritus of English at Ohio Northern University, Claude Clayton Smith is the author of a novel, two children’s books, four books of nonfiction, and a variety of poetry, plays, short fiction, and essays. His writing has been translated into five languages, including Russian and Chinese. His latest books are Ohio Outback: Learning to Love the Great Black Swamp (The Kent State University Press, 2010) and The Way of Kinship: An Anthology of Native Siberian Literature (The University of Minnesota Press, 2010), which he serves a co-editor/translator with the late Alexander Vaschenko of Moscow State University.

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