I remained in my parents’
home to avoid chance.
It was in the evening,
an ugly, foggy night
late in autumn.
It would be the last
time I sat out or shrunk,
my ego poorly cloaked.

Having stayed put,
I became lost in
a bustle of siblings.
I put on blinders. I
played it cool. After
a supposed forever,
weakness dissolved
while I sermonized.
Wispy lights tickled
my warm body. I felt
assured of a long,
life ahead!

But, before I could beg
this illusion to stay…

I heard claws in darkness
grasping at my feet, wide
pools of shadow rising
rapidly near me—
darkness teasing,
never touching.

After a winter of waffling,
weakness stilled my tongue.
I dared not ask a thing.
Beneath my toes
a singular beast
gazed up but never spoke,
its horror all you can imagine.

Excellent questions eluded
my mind or tied my tongue.
I considered those offering up
their unspoken love to chance.
The quiet claws curled around
my heels, lifted and threw me
out into a world of uniform

When my eyes opened,
the family garden soiled
my sight, crusted my nose,
muddied my mouth. Light
warmed my flaccid limbs.
I slithered from the yard
leaving my mother’s calls

Poet’s Notes:

For contrast, here is the official account of the First Vision: Joseph Smith—History 1:14-20. Reactions to this piece are welcome in the comments section. Thank you for reading.