Today's poem is by Sally Rosen Kindred

Animal Dark


There is no sleep in the ark.
Noah brings garnets for light
but they shrink from shining,
sunk into daub and sweat.
They rattle when black winds shake the boat's wood bones.

His people remember sleep.
They remember when God's hand cut night from day
in a dry world of reeds and burnt sand.
Now mole-rats worry at the floorboards
and dark garnets stutter on the wood.

The cattle sleep, but the people know better.
They know you can't see thunder.
They know the water took away summer—
took the fig trees, the cisterns,
took feet from warm grass.

And dry garnets won't leak blood light.


This is no story for children.
Even the scarlet lamp stones can't fix it.
This is a world swollen with loss,
the bloat and rot of bodies bumping
the ark all night like dumb fruit.

Inside there must be something intended,
something God wanted
from the grief, the crooked brays,
the dark scars of garnets,
and the living bodies turning against sleep.

Somewhere to the left of this story
there's a moment where everyone's inside,
everyone's saved, and it's enough to be alive
in the warm animal dark,
alive in the journey through wreckage and Writ—

but back at the center, there's just
a family awake through a storm.
There are fists of wind
hammering walls.
There are adders in the straw.

Copyright © 2011 Sally Rosen Kindred All rights reserved
from No Eden
Mayapple Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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