By Jack Stewart
We don’t know exactly when
this was painted, only that soon
the little clearing will be empty,
the billowing trees casting shade
over the shallows.
The sky does not dream of soldiers.
Calm water does not believe in footprints.
The town—is it big enough
to be a city?—is almost
a smudge in the background.
In an hour, the two men fishing
will haul in their net, their catch
as silver as an angel’s wing.
Right now, the family about
to pack their few belongings
is sheltered in enough green
they cannot imagine
the brown vastness of their
future, the millennia
of their story. And all we know
is soon a fugitive god
will have disappeared,
leaving behind a little sun
mixed with shade, a few drowsy birds,
and the scent of quiet water.
Jack Stewart was educated at the University of Alabama and Emory University and was a Brittain Fellow at The Georgia Institute of Technology. His first book, No Reason, was published by the Poeima Poetry Series in 2020, and his work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Poetry, The American Literary Review, Nimrod, Image and others.
Jack's other work on Foreshadow:
The Return (Poetry, September 2023)
Camel and Needle (Poetry, October 2023)
Rest on the Flight into Egypt (1) (Poetry, January 2024)