Sunday, April 24, 2011

National Poetry Month: Jim Harrison

Cover Image

"Easter Morning"

Jim Harrison

On Easter morning all over America

the peasants are frying potatoes in bacon grease.

We're not supposed to have "peasants"

but there are tens of millions of them

frying potatoes on Easter morning

cheap and delicious with catsup.

If Jesus were here this morning he might

be eating friend potatoes with my friend

who has a '51 Dodge and a '72 Pontiac

When his kids ask why they don't have

a new car he says, "these cars were new once

and now they are experienced."

He can fix anything and when rich folks

call to get a toilet repaired he pauses

extra hours so they can further

learn what we're made of.

I told him that in Mexico the poor say

that when there's lightning the rich

think that God is taking their picture.

He laughed.

Like peasants everywhere in the history

of the world ours can't figure out why

they're getting poorer. Their sons join

the army to get work being shot at.

Your ideas are invisible clouds

so try not to suffocate the poor,

the peasants, with your sympathies.

They know you're staring at them.

"Easter Morning" appears in Jim Harrison's collection Saving Daylight. Harrison is the author of Legends of the Fall and The Road Home, among other novels, as well as seven screenplays.

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