Evening, Wednesday, October 1, 1919: T. K. Jones, Security Chief In Eastern Arkansas For The Missouri Pacific Railroad, Boards A Train For The Short Trip From Elaine To Helena And Passes The Site Of The Hoop Spur Church, Now Burned To The Ground.
Should torches bring purity? No less,
Lies can be as pure as any truth that
Is; so much for purity in any form,
I’d say, if you think there’s reason
To divide truth from lies; more often,
What’s the purpose? For all seems
The same – at least here, where we
Inhabit hell and make the worst of it
On our long way to someplace else.
They came to alter the story by ashes,
To flame out the sentences and start
Anew, to have other nouns and verbs,
Many transformed adverbs and periods.
Arsonists don’t work well or very long
With commas and other pauses; four
Words to a sentence are much better,
If not best; no paragraphs at all, which
Get in the way of action and finality.
Who will remember what stood in
Place of the burned out message?
A few, if they’re still alive or haven’t
Gone on the road to find something
Of peace and otherness. We see them
Escaping through pockets of freedom
And deception, of tenacity and want;
We’ll miss them, taking their power
And eloquence to God knows where.