The Great Ceiling


Bowing to my wife’s
bullying I bought
the doubly-expensive
spruce and shoulder-
slung it six blocks home
then dusted off
the cobwebbed stand
and squatted under
her surveyor’s gaze,
twisting the screws –
I rose aching
to knuckle the knots
in my back but quick
she shot me a box
of bulbs and knick-
knacks which I unpacked
and hung one by one
before lifting
the cereal-top-tinfoil
star I’d crinkled together
our first Christmas
and tip-toeing it into place
just below the ceiling
and the great ceiling above that
where on the fourth day,
they say, the Man Upstairs
reached up and with
stretched fingers fixed
the constellations in their place,
then turned and, finding
no one to stand with
in that glow, slumped down
and started his new work
upon the earth.






Previously published in subTerrain #58

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