Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Burning Omaha

All summer it was like a miracle,
the dust coating cars and running
your finger through sand they said
had blown in from the Sahara.
Drivers cursed. It was a summer
of talk. Of incidents, evacuations,
populations gridlocking ring roads,
four-minute warnings, the hottest season
of their Cold War. We didn’t care.
We were racing through the woods
while parents stocked up on tins
and candles and stared at the radio
with palms against their throats
as if by suddenly tightening their grip
they could hold their little faith in.
There was no rain, only sand,
only sand coming down like scurf,
like unexpected snow from Archangel,
like the ashes from Omaha burning.

Tom Phillips
'Burning Omaha' from 'Recreation Ground' (Two Rivers Press, 2012)

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