The Strike*


Year-long days

of sandstone, salt

and clay collapse

to crust against the brow.


The mounting press

of dead debris

chokes the filament

of fire from finding light.


For so long, deep

creases of the mind

are locked inside

and left inert.


In linger time they

seep away and weary.

But then a sliding

from below, a fault


through the darkway

passage like a geyser

writing in the sky

insight warms the world


and masters momentarily

the footfalls of the earth.


Jerome L. McElroy


*Accepted in Writers' Journal (1998)