Today's poem is by Ryan Teitman


Let what begins
continue. Let
your dog turn

up his nose at
the plate of vegetables
you delicately

smashed on the floor.
How far are we now
from the place

they sealed the boy
inside the well
when they couldn't

figure out how
to save him?
They didn't want to

hear his cries anymore.
So they boarded up
the mouth and continued

with the picnic,
even as their children
grew wet with rain.

This summer,
tornadoes will
circle our town,

a runaway will
circle her final
destination on a map,

and dogs will
stalk circles around
a wounded deer.

I couldn't tell
you how to dress
that leg. You've never

been alone before,
but I forget that
sometimes. I know

how to make bandages
from bedsheets;
my grandmother told me

stories from the war,
how her garden was
full of scrap metal,

how she served tomatoes
dressed in oil and rust,
yet sweeter than before.

She'd say, let what begins
, and gesture
vaguely at the sky,

as if the sky was where
everything happened.

Copyright © 2012 Ryan Teitman All rights reserved
from Litany for the City
BOA Editions
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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