Errand into the Wilderness
Austin Segrest

Errand into the Wilderness

          1640

Fell into some trouble of mind
did the man from Weymouth.
In the night he cried out, “Art
thou come at last, Lord Jesus?”

With that, he sat up in his bed
did the man from Weymouth,
and breaking from his wife he leapt
out at high window

in his night shirt. A troubled fall
for the man from Weymouth,
a fallen man. “Enthusiast”
they’d call him. Through the snow

for seven miles he ran and prayed
did the man from Weymouth.
Knee-printed scenes of great distress
led them to the river,

traced into a boundlessness
the fallen man from Weymouth,
frozen stiff still kneeling where
he croaked his last “Lord Jesus.”

Austin Segrest

is a native Alabaman and teaches poetry in north-central Wisconsin. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri, where he studied Puritans, among other things, and was poetry editor of The Missouri Review. His poems can be found in Threepenny Review, Yale Review, Blackbird, Ploughshares, Image, and Harvard Review. He currently reviews poetry for Southern Humanities Review.