portion of the artwork for Donavon Davidson's poetry

When the Lights Went Out
Donavon Davidson

The woman with the spider insider her
thought she had swallowed
a massive dose of poison,
but nothing happened
after she died.

The world went on as it always had.
A school boy played hooky
behind a butcher’s apron.
A black cat silently crept
from death’s forgotten alley
and walked between
the legs of a waitress
who was reaching over
to collect her daily tips.

A great war horse stood on a hilltop,
as it has for generations,
although an old man swore
he rode it every morning
to an encampment of nativity
where he offered his hat
to the weeping woman
handing him blue flowers.

A funeral director found a bottle
with a message of ash inside
that led him to his own accommodations
just as two men with shovels
were walking away.

Churches of electricity were built
to ask and listen for nothing.
Post offices were burned
for heresy.
Now, no one notices the lights
until they go off.

The morning milk spoils in the bellies
of children who no longer dream.
And the spider? Well,
some say it’s still awake
growing fat on their flies.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 39 | Winter 2013