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by Wade Bentley

The fire storms came on Sewing Day, with all
The mumbling women scratching at their quilts
Or chasing children, caught between the frames.
The heavy-hatted, steel-toed men on stilts

Of stone above pubescent towns, had laughed
Their usual curses to the godless skies
And ate a wilting sandwich in the sun.
The priests had polished brass and heard the lies

Of hunching men and women all the long
And cloistered hours when God had left alone
The darkened shrines. And when the silver birds
That roared like dogs of Hell had lightly flown,

They left their bloody droppings in the clouds.
The winds were nothing to the fires, the hell-
Whipped flames had licked the bloodless bones
Among the crumpled homes, where none could tell

The smoking man which way to point his hand-
Held sight to find the shortest way to die.
And God forgive the woman for a fool
That turned her blackened back against the sky

To breast a child in hopes of coming cool.
And when the boys and girls the priests and dogs
Are circling ashes in the breeze, the Cloud
Moves off to sniff the rising green of trees

And kiss the cheeks of children in the crowd.

Wade Bentley graduated from BYU in English this August and is now a graduate student in