Today's poem is by Michele Wolf


The storm had bitten away the shoreline,
Leaving behind a whiskered nine-foot cliff,
And underneath it the hard-packed sand
Was littered with starfish. Jutting
Out of the cliff bottom, stripped
Free of its tomb at water's edge,
Was the back third of a tan
Metallic 1952 Buick, license lost.
No cars, aside from jeeps, were allowed
On the island. The ocean darted
Forward and back, inspecting its find.

This morning the splintering ribs
Of the hull of an eighteenth-century ship
Arose in the spongy crater of mud
At the site of the World Trade Center,
Twenty feet below street level. Artifacts
Are the accounts we leave behind.
We leave them buried beneath what is buried,

Much as we live in our beauty now.
We may expose only the husk of ourselves,
But embedded and patient in our subterranean
Core, removed from use for so long that most
Have become forgotten, are every memory,
Every gesture, every meandering
Thought. And that's just the library. Jammed
Into the great room—some wearing boots,
Some barefoot—our ancestors are dancing.
We can feel them in our bones.
They're stomping the floorboards.

Copyright © 2011 Michele Wolf All rights reserved
from Immersion
The Word Works
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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