This Is the Way
The morning the canyon opened,
its roaring water thundering and
its mist rising through rose light
carrying sweet white azalea into black,
the world could have been saying
It’s your time to go, and I would have,
except that too few of us have ever
stepped in a river powerful enough to pin
a body to the bottom, or emerged
at day’s end atop a rock cliff—
the river but a single lost thread below,
buzzards sweeping up and out
and over where you have just been:
this is the way it will be when you are
not looking, when you are pulled
backwards and up as if by a string.
Yes, the world is ending. It is ending
every day, and our feet are not even wet.
Bill King holds an M.A. in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in Literature from the University of Georgia and teaches literature and creative writing at Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, WV. His recent work appears or is forthcoming in Kestrel, Appalachian Heritage, Still: The Journal, The Southern Poetry Anthology, Flycatcher, Nantahala Review, A Narrow Fellow: The Art of Poetry, Poecology, and others.