Judith L. Wyatt
Excerpted from Mother Lode (A 13 Poem Suite)
included in KotaPress Poetry Anthology Volume 2, 2002

A Picnic at the End of Time

She sits cross-legged in the wind,
her cloth spread with chicken and fruit,
grass dotted by toddlers, dogs, kites.
The lake slinks past the dock,
pewter under the gathering storm,
a giant animal heaving toward extinction,
skin sleek and silk as money.

The book in her lap says
Not by Fire But by Ice.
She wonders to the dandelions,
how will we pay the price?
Will this picnic green go
under acre-high snow?
Will dream families drown
on the flooding plains,
300-mile an hour gusts
devour the whole food chain
from lilac bushes to children? Will we

fall into lightning cracks,
the earth's back finally
breaking under our weight,
and land in lava, the way
ants fall in a cup?
Will a meteor slice
grass, clover and rock
off into space
like a wedge of watermelon? And will our souls
wag sperm tails
up galaxy avenues,
fleshed into new devotion?

The rain's suspended in sky,
rolling and welling,
while she holds
water, green, and wind
like an ancient vase
in her fingers' grease
(oh delicate dust)
as she sits waiting.

Author Bio
Judith is a psychotherapist practicing in San Francisco, CA. Her poetry has appeared in Portland Review, Midwest Poetry Review, American Poetry Monthly, The Spoon River Poetry Review, Rio Grande Review and elsewhere. She is co-author of Work Abuse: How to Recognize and Survive It.