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Connie Post: Three Poems

Hours of Operation

You are an emergency room
open all night
holidays, weekends

even when the moon
is having palpitations
you know how to shock the sky
into rhythm

even when the sun
is non responsive
you remember how quiet
you must be
to find the dawn

there are ways you
seem to understand
when sugar water
is all that’s needed

there are times
when only you know
how to find the warmest blanket
for my trembling legs

I hear your walls were built
with the hands of a broken life

your emergency generators
always on

your ventilator
keeps me breathing
through the long night

*

Torrent                                                                                                                                

What if someone dropped you
in the middle of a river

what if you never knew
where the water came from –
if the snow pack was almost gone

what if everyone told you
to go downstream
but everything inside you
told you “hold on”
to the boulder in the middle

what if you didn’t
remember anything about water
not one word about
what your science teacher
told you about two hydrogen
one oxygen

what if you didn’t understand the rapids
or how white water
spoke in its own dialect

the sediment from the bottom
gathers at your feet
you hear others
calling from the banks
but you lose consciousness

and when you wake
you find yourself
standing at the edge –
at the estuary of night
the skyline
etched in ruined ink
and you

praying quietly
to a lone pelican
with the ocean’s last fish
stuck in its throat

*

Snow Pack

When winter knows no prayer
and all the white birch
kneel before you

why won’t you rise
when the widow of autumn
holds out her thin hand

why won’t you
notice us
who are buried in the avalanche
of one another

emergency crews
rush to find us
we survive for days
on shrinking levels of oxygen

even when we are pulled from
dark tunnels

dawn breaks us in two

you leave us behind
in this cataclysmic wind

the rescue teams turn away

leaving behind

a terrain of regret

 

(Author photo by Farah Sosa, Courtesy of the California Arts Council)

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