Today's poem is by Corey Marks

The String

unspools someone's

out of the sun-
bleached day

toward a culvert's
dark underside

where it threads
a broken bottle's

teeth, tangles twigs
and leaves and trash

into a reckoning
of what we can

do without—partial,
but the string goes on

with its work,
its daily, studious

strung along knot

by knot, a time-
line forgotten

with the ease of
a hand letting go.

Though here's a child
who comes to trace

the string's trail
down the slope

and under the wind-
scoured overpass

she's been told never
to hide beneath

in a storm, who
pinches her small

hand into a loop
she slides over

snarls, burrs, a straw
sleeve, tentacles

of magnetic
tape, a cluster

of fur, the string
she thinks of as

a tornado
she's unraveled

to see what's inside
all that gathering;

there is so much
she doesn't want

to forget: crickets
scattering before

her into darkness,
the dry cough of her

shoes on cement,
cars clattering

over her head
like storm clouds

to the thrill

of something new

from a forgotten
length of string.

Copyright © 2011 Corey Marks All rights reserved
from Harvard Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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