Brautigan’s Angel

In the fourth inning
an angel committed
suicide by jumping
off a low cloud.
—Richard Brautigan

After eons
of taking orders
from archangels,
principalities, powers,
virtues, dominions,
thrones, cherubim,
and seraphim;
and after millennia
of delivering messages
no one wanted to hear;
and after centuries
of trying to find
any goodness to reward;
and after decades
of punishing
never ending injustice;
he came home exhausted
only to find his clouds
had been re-arranged.
The ball game
had already started.
And his father-in-law
was lounging
in his favorite cloud.
Later, near the end
of a double play,
sulking for innings
on a low cloud,
he finally spoke up:
You had no right.
Please apologize.”
Then his father-in-law
leaned down from his cloud
and from that open grave
of a throat droned:
You ain’t no angel either.”

—Philip Venzke, Stevens Point, WI