Prayer for Solid Ground

            January 20, 2017


The memory isn’t old enough—
its ragged edges still seep.
With just a fat needle and yarn 

the color of sunrise, I could stitch
a hieroglyphic scar. A tale
of omen, masquerade and fate.

    *

Black fades to white. White 
snow blackens. An earthquake
liquefies solid ground,
which sucks at us.

Promise that our eyes will hold.
Keep our ears attuned,
despite the words that slice 
the membranes deep inside.

    *

How could we, students of the earth,
have so misunderstood the marsh?
Moving from mound to hillock,
the length of each step grew longer. 

Water deepened. And when we looked, 
the dunes were a mile behind. Ahead—
the silent sound. No gull, 
nor boat. No one. 

Once we accept the muck 
in our shoes, it is simple 
to sit on a hummock and rest.
Sinking slowly like the sun.
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