Finalist – 2022 James H. Nash Contest

The Last Day


I was told it would be like this.
From behind, shafts of rising sun slant
across the highway, lighting rows
of winter-bare poplars converging
at the vanishing point:
a mute bridge spanning an icy
river, the clouds on the horizon
bruised purple,
swallowing the dawn.

SPENCER E. HURST has been a barker at Six Flags, interoffice mail delivery person for a defense contractor, janitor in a maternity undergarment factory, transportation manager, director of global logistics, truck loader at UPS, K-12 substitute teacher, university teaching assistant, and English professor, in that order. Along the way, he has been a questionable parent, mediocre husband, and laughably inept grandfather. He hopes there is a forgiving God in heaven. His poetry and stories have appeared in Untamed Ink, Natural Bridge, River King Poetry Supplement, Salamander Magazine, and others, and he has been a member of Saint Louis Poetry Center since 1997.