The Common Good
July-August 2002

The Summer God Was Nine Years Old

by Kelly Sterns | July-August 2002

The summer God was nine years old

Heaven's swamp cooler broke for good.

His Mama was stout yet managed to scale

the side of their trailer, parked off a path

The summer God was nine years old
Heaven's swamp cooler broke for good.
His Mama was stout yet managed to scale
the side of their trailer, parked off a path
near the woods over by Gabriel's.
She jerry-rigged its fan to flutter
with the backing off her green and purple earring.

God was building insects that day
under the shade of the grapevines by the tree.
He pinched that colorful tool,
ran off for the quiet of his overhanging vines.
Easing the earring out of his overalls
he mimicked his Mama an historic way that day.

He began to build butterflies.
The power of their bodies began a small summer breeze,
the jewel of their souls became the paint for their wings.
Who was to notice then or even to care
if a God slipped on an earring
for a moment in the shadow of a grapevine?
His Mama was a very understanding woman.

Kelly Sterns founded Dial-A-Poem, a 24-hour interactive poetry line in New Mexico.

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