Poem Posted May 2009

Posted: May 3, 2009 in Samples of My Writing


From my new book out Spring 2010 from Black Moss Press and previously published in Event 37.3

On Stilts

“We need water.” Someone shouts. An acquaintance? What ribbed air? A crowd presses forward for a glance. Their blood-rich bodies stand in the heat as the crowd presses toward this airless gap. From the distance they could be any group of the living, caught together; we sometimes step into such a crowd for no other reason than we believe it is where we need to be. A pregnant woman has fallen amongst them. Her husband pushes those closest to her away. It is the heat that has caused this. Men, women, and children have gathered in the heat to watch a baseball game. No fault in that. It’s a summer’s day. However, the woman on the ground will die, but not her child. Doctors and paramedics rush down two flights of stairs toward the crowd. The scoreboard flashes a set of numbers that could be chapters and verses from the Bible, but is the box score of the game. A flock of birds circles overhead. They are the kind of nameless birds always amongst us. On the playing field, a man on stilts waves a flag. The crowd cheers. A child is born. A mother dies. That is the score. What numbers do we put up for that? The man on stilts thinks this is the best day of his life. And it is.


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