Just As, After a Point, Job Cried Out

By layering transparent and translucent images, animator Emma Burghardt enlightens this elemental post-apocalyptic poem by K. A. Hays.






The soil froze, cursing the weather. It turned a stoic face

to winter’s switchblade and brass knuckles


so that when the warm rain came, the soil said, Go on,

there’s no room for you now. Let the backyards


pool up, and the river pitch to the bridges, dragging

the bridges down. Now the billboards will become great


silent rafts so anyone can climb on them and look out,

saying, I would have done the same.


When the water covered the tree trunks and crept up,

the ground shrugged. See, it said. Now,


weather, do you understand? Soon,

there will be no resting place.






This poem first appeared in Black Warrior Review and was reprinted in Best American Poetry 2011. Poem copyright 2011 K. A. Hays, all rights reserved, used by permission of the author.

More about K. A. Hays.

More about Emma Burghardt.

This motionpoem is presented in collaboration with Best American Poetry 2011 (Scribner), with thanks to David Lehman, series editor.


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One Response to “Just As, After a Point, Job Cried Out”

  1. Kara says:

    I love all the layers and the pairing of tears with “warm rain.” Beautiful!

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