by Andrew Bashford
Even the man on the corner, with the trenchcoat
and the cane, pronouncing “Wo, wo, [and] wo”
unto shoppers, commuters, and boys skipping
mass, paused when the funnies, like manna,
distilled from the sky.
Some news-office window was open
somewhere, and a plague in four colors,
a newspaper swarm, fluttered to earth,
bearing terrible puns from on high.
From walking to gawking, the Sunday crowds turned
with their fingers towards heaven.
Then the man filled his lungs and rattled
his Bible to bellow a torrent
of brimstone, but a vision restrained
him– a boy and a tiger, a beagle,
a tabby, the scrape of the toaster,
the hiss of the eggs, the bass
of his dad reading jokes at the table.
So the man stowed his prophets,
their sackcloth and ashes. He snatched
up a paper and pushed through the blizzard
to a bench in the square where he stood
and delivered, his voice like his father’s, a sermon
from Comics C:4.