Jared Carter

Judgment Day

On that final morning, which lasted
for a very long time – some said
for eternity, although there was
no way of knowing – everything
was given a voice. Rocks, stones,
trees, cats, dogs, galaxies, all
were enabled to be heard at last,
to say what had mattered to them.
Bats, nebulae, microbes, star clusters,
all configurations, all assemblages,
and the few sentient creatures, too –
all were allowed to speak. Some
of those who had lived on Earth
had beaten their wives and cheated
on their taxes. Some had been afraid
in battle and had run away. Others
had gone forward, been blown apart,
and been forgotten. Many had lived
to old age, been generous and good,
and were equally forgotten. Now,
the four walls and the picture frame
spoke, telling what they had seen.
And the weeds on the battlefield
that were trodden down, they too
had their moment. Such witnessing
took a long time. Each grain of sand
on the beaches you walked along
when you were a child, spoke up.
Each noticed, in a different way,
how your toes left their marks
in the sand, before the waves
erased them. Everything testified,
everything had an opinion about
what had happened back then.
And gradually, after billions
of years had passed, and billions
of voices had spoken, and still
more billions of witnesses waited
to be heard – God reached out
his hand, and in that instant
everything fell silent. “As though,”
he decided, “it had never been.”
And it was so. He looked out
into a great vast emptiness
that had become quiet and still.
And He saw that it was good.