Poetry by Jack Peterson


Doomsday Clock

Pushed toward midnight and ideal children
slept in unloved wombs

wanted by a world that glues pounds
of cannellini and black

beans on blue paper for first grade
mosaics of Dr. King

and still sings in unison in public
for each candle

laden cupcake carried by the one
who first said

we should do something
to celebrate

given the time, all we could produce
was waiting

pre-made as if the grocer knew
someone today

would need a baked good to stick
a candle in

and set afire.


Murder of Crows

I was out, as I can be
on a day when crows
know most stay in

the murder, so called,
enormous and there
all silent conspiracy

inelegantly handled
in slickened treetops
my running past

diving and flapping
into each other as if
I arrived too early

at my grandmother’s
house, and woke her
from the loud news

and recliner, not
yet equipped to kiss
me hello, or think

of what to tell me
apologetic of the lack
of food to offer

when here she had
so wanted to greet
me in her right self

when here she had
sweet tea and chicken
salad all made up

for my later arrival,
instead of this
silence and confusion


Jack Peterson lives ordinarily in Upland, Indiana with his wife and two children and runs on country roads.