The lights flickered
twice then went out,
the kitchen suddenly
unfamiliar, dark,
every appliance silent.
We didn’t hear
sirens, but a neighbor
knocked and said two
poles and at least a hundred
yards of live wire
were down on the Bel-Pike,
little fires
where the power lines
touched the dry grass,
the smell
of burning rubber,
and we should see
the car.
the sink you found
some matches,
and the candle from
the Lenten service —
the church
was draped in plum-
colored sheets, the pastor
chanted the old prayers
at each Station,
invited us to join
the long procession
to the altar, where we
genuflected and kissed
a relic of the true
sky and not a light
on for miles,
how could we not
think of our own loss,
the state police at the door
whispering our daughter’s name,
the drive in the back seat
to the county morgue,
returning home late,
the supper dishes soiled
in the sink,
the kitchen floor
still dusty and