Here we farm potatoes
and so we are at peace.
Our town is poor but decent,
our pleasure's sitting still, in rows
on park benches looking gently
at The General, pigeons on his head.
So poor, our ragged little tailor instead
of pure wool, flax or cotton sews motley
into pants, shirts and coats.
Nonetheless our streets stay clean and white,
and the grass is cropped by goats.
The opaque dome that serves as sky
turns from day-bright to electric amber
and indigo at night. True, we have earthquakes -
heralded by condor-like shadows
overhead - which we call the Great Shakings,
as wind and whistling scatter ash and ember
on the pond, the schoolyard, the burial ground.
But nothing, thank God, ever falls down.
Soon, stillness again; and we try not to remember.
to Adjudicators Report