the museum of americana

a literary review

Sputnik IV’s Fall — Poetry by Ronnie Sirmans

 
(September 1962)

Rain never was God’s tears.
But God had to be crying when
metal beads fell from the sky
and onto our church’s roof.
We didn’t know why Wisconsin
would make Him cry or why
no one else had ever noticed
the sprinkle of hardened tears.
But pop pop pop pop and
when we arrived outside,
the nice old lady who called
her dog and everybody else Baby
pointed to the foreign matter.

These fell early in the morning
before breakfast. Our testimony
was not questioned; no one asked
why we were at church so early
on a Wednesday when the prayer
meetings occurred in the evening
when stars fell at safe horizons.

Some believed the round Russian
machine ridiculed the heavens,
but God’s dot stayed aloft instead
of breaking apart over Manitowoc.
“Amen,” said the reverend.
And when translated into Russian,
amen is spelled with an extra letter,
a fifth glyph hanging at the end,
looking like Sputnik in descent.
 

~ ~ ~

SirmansSF (1)Ronnie Sirmans is an editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. His poetry has appeared in The South Carolina Review, The Behemoth, Gargoyle, Deep South Magazine, BlazeVOX and elsewhere.

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