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125| Until

Claude Clayton Smith

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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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