the visitation

The Visitation
Brigit Pegeen Kelly

God sends his tasks
and one does
them or not, but the sky
delivers its gifts
at the appointed
times: With spit and sigh,
with that improbable
burst of flame, the balloon
comes over
the cornfield, bringing
another country
with it, bringing
from a long way off
those colors that are at first
the low sound
of a horn, but soon
are many horns, and clocks,
and bells, and clappers
and your heart
rising to the silence
in all of them, a silence
so complete that
the heads of the corn
bow back before it
and the dog flees in terror
down the road
and you alone are left
gazing up
at three solemn visitors
swinging
in a golden cage
beneath that unbelievable chorus of red
and white, swinging
so close you cannot move
or speak, so close
the road grows wet with light,
as when the sun flares,
after an evening storm
and you become weightless, falling
back in the air
before the giant oak
that with a fiery burst
the balloon
just clears.

From To the Place of Trumpets, published by Yale University Press, 1988. Copyright © 1988 by Brigit Pegeen Kelly. Reproduced by permission of Yale University Press.

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