John Sibley Williams

Another Tunnel Passed Through to Get from Light to Light



In its cruder forms, the darkness one

must  feign loving  to  love  the world

resembles a father’s  fist or that deep

oak  shadow a  dog drags itself  miles

to die under  or the  heart of the man

who kicked it into, then just beyond,

submission.  But  this  is  not  one  of

those  stories.  Our   car,  heavy  with

family,  with  known  destination,  is

simply   winding   down   road   after

road named for forgotten massacres.

The  length of  our dark: as the radio

turns  to  static in a tunnel  hollowed

into  the  face  of  a cliff,  we  begin to

question  if  this  song was  ever ours

to   begin  with.  Yet  we  sing  it.  We

cannot help but sing our way toward

a light as bright as the light we think

we’re    leaving    behind.   Our  wake

seems  so   gentle  against  the  black

chop    of   history,   our  hands   less

cruel.   I’ve   never   beaten   a   body

beyond  its  limits,   son. Remember

that. And remember to keep singing

as this well-lit world hints at its real



JOHN SIBLEY WILLIAMS is the author of three collections, including the Orison Poetry Prize winning As One Fire Consumes Another. An eleven-time Pushcart nominee and winner of various awards, John serves as editor of The Inflectionist Review. Publications include: Yale Review, Atlanta Review, Prairie Schooner, Midwest Quarterly, Sycamore Review, Massachusetts Review, Columbia, Third Coast.