The Flood

Chana Bloch

The ark noisy with children,
angels, birds – dim, stuffy,
close, the nest of home
where Noah broods,
at sea.

                 How can one think
in such a place? The world
presses around, and God
breathes down his neck.

The ark, at least, is
warm. Outside,
a patch of blue, pale, tentative,
perhaps still wet.

Noah gropes, but the brave
animals sniff land:
the dove
a fist of light.

Yawning, the rain still drips
from memory,
damps the small dust down.

Sun buds in the sky.
Trees shake out their quills.
Birds sing, gingerly,
rolling the last drops off their wings.

New grass whets its blades.

The great hulk of houseboat beached
on top of Ararat.
Drying, the timbers crack.
It will stay there forever, shrinking

On land our stiff
white birds’ legs
remembering the ocean’s push.

The last
waters go on rocking
in the conch of the ear.