The Horsemen

by Tom Bajoras

Plague advances:
plants collapse, unconscious,
to the ground;
the garden is a hospital—
the gardener a doctor, making his round.

Then comes war:
Wind wailing the demon songs
of fighter jets.
Leaves are shrapnel,
and the icicles bayonets.

Next, famine:
The vine withers;
the apple tree is bare.
Squirrels, asleep with empty stomachs,
dream of fruit that isn’t there.

Finally, death.
Sheltered in his room, the poet writes
less and less each day,
while outside shreds of sky
fall silently, wrapping the world
in a shroud of gray.

Signs and wonders
in the sky—
No need to fear.
We practice for apocalypse
this time every year.