Daniel the Prophet and a Spear of Grass
Another dream. The king knows what it means—
A fruitful tree chopped, stripped, scattered,
his fall from the roof of Babylon, disgraced,
displaced crazed beast with eagle-feather hair.
This king who cut Israel’s youth, cut life,
cut hope. . .scrapbooks of baptisms and
graduations, buried arrest records, photographs,
drunken daughters in leotards and fairy wings.
What god is this who turns men to oxen
exiled in the dew-wet field? Who fashions
love out of hate. Who springs hope beyond
a home, a wife, a child, a tree.
There is still a stump bound with a band
of iron and bronze, in the tender grass.
Janna Schledorn’s poetry has appeared in Adanna Literary Journal, Revelry and other journals. In 2016, she won the Thomas Burnett Swann Poetry Prize from the Gwendolyn Brooks Writers Association of Florida. Poems from this series have also appeared in Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry.