To sit on his hands when he could have provided
speedier transit was surely gross negligence;
but, the bumpy ride home in Marvel's cart tried
Eben's health less than Clark's patience.
Pa survived it, hurt, but intact,
and when he wakes he'll surely thank
Clark for not flying him back.
-- Hide your powers son. (So Eben had said
when Joe died). Because you can't bank
on folks having any sense. Men fear the new,
and you'll mystify them, so they'll fear you.
Fight on the right side, put your might to
good: that'll justify you in their eyes.
Takes time, 'course, and maturity.
I hope I'm understood?
He was: Pa's wish has prevailed since that day.
Even at the Fair. There, Clark let caution sway him,
let Ralph guide the Eben-burdened John Ross
to the Prof., let them try to mend Pa's ribs
while he sat by in shock. They revived him,
momentarily. "Would've been... hundred
dollars... but that cold metal... wouldn't budge,"
said Pa of the anvil.
Ross fed him gin from a flask --
enough to kill the pain -- and Eben asked
for Sarah, slumped again, and was out cold
by when they got him to her. She helped
her guests settle, then in her hand held his
until, by Eben's bedside, she fell asleep.
Clark slept in his room (first time in months)
and kept on his coveralls, too drained
even to fear the dream's recurrence.
So, of course, it has recurred,
and I can now tell
of the anxieties that fill
a godling's mind in unguarded moments.
(As the dreamer dreams it)
To the hills on the edge of town
we go, and your locks you let down
as I touch your tender neck
with my eyes and nose and lips
and brow and, as one, we fall
onto the soft spring grass.
I drink deeply of the air
and of the scent of you,
your breath and flesh and hair,
as your hands lithely scurry
across my back and you stare
over my shoulder and tell me,
each whispered puff of air
tickling my ear, how pretty
is the vista of the village
below. And so we roll
until I can glimpse the view,
but keep going, turning
and tumbling over and over --
my only vista is you.
But... who are you? What color
is this hair? Your face, obscured
by the dream-fog, was Lana's
when last I dreamt. Whose tonight?
(Dream-shift. Hero, don't fight
this vision new, of Dudley
Batson calling your Fortune
from out a crystal ball.
Heed him, for your destiny
he might have seen, had not rueful
Caveat: This is but a dream.
Give it no more than it is due
that the dream-Prof. can pontificate
-- By twice the twelfth
is thy fate defined.
Bound you'll be,
but then unfettered,
by this one repeated sound
akin the name of kin of Thine
on that long deceased sphere
whose legacy you've borne
but shan't forever bear alone.
Love, pure in form, looms, so prepare
for the coming of The One,
she who will need no traps or snares
and whose burdens you will share,
she who will woo with Liberty's gun.
(Intermission done, the curtain falls,
the intruder sidles to the wings.
Clark will someday recall his cryptic song,
but now ignores it. More familiar things
beckon: Idyllic images are re-run
in his head until once again
they turn loathsome as...
Our nearness melts them
from brown into blue,
as your eyes become my sky
and your mouth my sun.
Our hearts run together,
our limbs intertwine
and I am yours, and you are mine
as the heat of the day
burns away time
until it stands as still
as we two lie, a spent one,
clinging to the hill
until the day is done.
We then get up to go
and you request a hug.
I comply and am by my
own exuberance undone.
For a few seconds I lower my guard;
for mere seconds! Time enough
for enamel shards to burst and rain,
for your blood to redly stain
the yellow summer flowers,
for the subcutaneous
essence of your loveliness
to churn to a buttery puss,
mix with white bone-dust
and paste your dress to the grass.
Onto the puddle that was you
a ladybug flutters. I do
nothing. My touch is death; there was
not time enough for one breath,
not time enough for you to...
for you to...
Open eyes... wakefulness...
and he isn't dreaming,
he really hears her (Who?) screaming.
Clark levitates. Behind his head
to his right he reaches with both arms,
grabs the bedpost and rotates
about its axis, careening
himself out the window
as Sarah's screams parch her throat
and raise a house-wide alarm.
At their source, the breakfast nook,
it seems Eben tried to cook
his own porridge. Sarah slapped it
off his face -- she wanted him
to talk to her just once more --
but his jaw moved not a jot,
and she is still dragging
his sagging form from the spot
where it struck the covered porch floor
when Clark lands on a plank thereof
and, with his heel, knocks the dropped ladle
out the open wire door. Cradling
Eben, Clark conveys him to a couch.
Ralph and Professor Marvel rush
downstairs still buttoning their shirts,
the latter a black bag in tow.
The stethoscope won't decode
the patient's last gurglings,
but the junior Kent knows
that Pa is urging him
to keep the farm and care for Ma.
He gasps because words will not come,
and such dry rasps are enough....
He is gone.
Outside, in the weedy rough,
still winds come alive, rustle up dead brush
and sweep it to homestead walls,
forming piles wherein would thrive
the lichen, were there any moisture.
But, the eye of Heaven is dry,
the mold can find no pasture.
It should look inside. A young man strives
there now after self-definition
(what will be his life's mission?),
and to contain a teary flood.
Upon Ma's bent shoulder
Clark rests a hand.
They both have lost a kind of love
richer even than bonds of blood.