Today's poem is by Eliot Khalil Wilson


I tried lifting him like a rain-warped window,
but he was heavier than I expected.

He was—or would have been—as tall as me,
and he had to be moved from his wheelchair to the bed.

So I folded him back down into his chair,
then thought to gather him up like a reluctant groom.

With one hand across the broken keel of his spine
and the other under his atrophied knees,

I lifted until my own back seized and burned.
But his was the grave weight all pallbearers learn,

and when I set him back down, his muscles spasmed.
His face twitched and his hands shook and jolted

as if his spine were the third rail of a derelict subway.
Once it sounded the roar of easy power

but now just the echoes of bickering rats
and the distal scrattle of old train schedules.

Randomly the charges mate, the circuits fire,
the ruined bridges span the gap in a sudden hail of sparks

but just to prove the weight of dark. Useless petitions
for whoever serves those who cannot stand and wait.

Copyright © 2014 Eliot Khalil Wilson All rights reserved
from This Island of Dogs
The Aldrich Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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