The night before the funeral

I carve his face out of the dark

with an outstretched finger

scraping through the wreckage of dusk

on the window-glass and over

the hunched frame of a storm

ruined hay-barn.


It’s 2012, the year the world ends.

The grackles widen over hornbeam

like notes on sheet music

at the far edge of the land. Once,


my mother took me

away from my father

below the quarter-truce

of the moon. She drove

a ‘76 AMC Gremlin,

ready to be junked and forgotten

by the time I was born.

There is no need


to go back. To watch the sun rise

in the side-view mirror

as if the bright-painted steel

of a Ferris Wheel in a traveling fair.

There’s a night that sleeps

and a sky for darkness, and for burial,

for ash, and flight.

Matthew Wimberley lives in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains. His chapbook "Snake Mountain Almanac" was selected by Eduardo C. Corral as the winner of the 2014 Rane Arroyo Chapbook Contest from Seven Kitchens Press. Winner of the 2015 William Matthews Prize from the Asheville Review, and a finalist for the 2012 Narrative 30 Below Contest, his writing has appeared in: The Greensboro Review, The Missouri Review, Narrative, Orion, The Paris-American, Poet Lore, Rattle, Shenandoah, and Verse Daily. Wimberley received his MFA from NYU where he worked with children at St. Mary's Hospital as a Starworks Fellow. Wimberley was a finalist for the 2015 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Book Award.