The poem once had an epigraph quoting the American poet Robert Duncan, who wrote in the 1960s, “Again and again we enter the last days of our civilization.” Fittingly, I think, “Last Days” ends with a beginning.
No one paid much mind at first.
A low murmur amid the hubbub.
When finally heard
alarms were late.
How do you stop a chain reaction
or keep calm with a fever?
Many have seen the end of the world
as they knew it.
Last days before that end
must be special days.
Those living them must be special too.
We’ve always known.
We do our best to be prepared
half-believe what our senses tell us.
Know one in the hand
for what it’s worth.
What’s left undone is yet to do
yet we did and did undo some things.
We returned home in the waning light
chastened yet braced for new beginnings
sure we knew the way ahead
and wouldn’t make the same mistakes again.
This was not the moment for doubt.
We were of one mind, never so dangerous.
Train poetry journal will include three other poems of mine in their next print journal, on sale across Canada.