Though I Make My Bed in Hell
---Holy Week, 1994

Storms on Palm Sunday tear
parts of Alabama to shreds.
A church collapses in mid-
service, mobile homes explode,
a man is broken against
a tree trunk, surprised
as Christ after a week
in the sun, a lazy stretch
when azalea and redbud
opened to a kinder wind.
Purple and white blossoms
coat the sidewalk now--
layers of drowned hosannahs.

Monday morning, on the porch
with my coffee at six,
the front yard lit only
by dogwoods that gather
the coming day, I watch
a male cardinal sway
like an exotic dancer
before his brown love,
full of song. She lets
herself be seduced
by something--his color,
perhaps, or her own
unruffled certainty of spring.