John Kinsella – Crack

photo credit: Wyman Laliberte


John Kinsella

A crack has appeared near the top
of the block, running through loam
from a star picket down to the driveway,
forming a hypotenuse to all that’s right.
It’s a long, narrow crack. It is a crack
likely opened with the tensions
of the world, a crack opened by weight —
the rhythms of feet marching through Paris,
a crack through death and offence
opened by the faltering lines of communication
between people and people, people and God
whose name is such a decisive utterance,
between people and States. It is the crack
of heat, of a flood of rain months ago
and blazing temperatures since — it is
the evisceration of fires sparked
by cigarettes and angle-grinders,
machinery and arsonists. It is the planet
stretched, knocked out of shape. It’s
the conservatives in their chilled
think-tanks exclaiming ‘Plot! Plot!’,
declaring the world’s as cool as a cucumber.
It is the crack over which no ant will step
lest it fall into the closing-up, as if
it never existed. But I reassure all ants —
it won’t be shutting up shop. It will grow.
It is the fissure come out of the cave
and requires no prophet to light its way.
I watch an old thornbill hop over it —
a massive feat of adjustment,
though she refuses to show the effort.
So local, such a concern to ourselves.