Today's poem is by Sarah Estes


        During the moment of crisis, hands
lace the chest as self-made seatbelts.

There are small fires in the fields as the
        women assess the situation.

Someone has been shaving stone in the shed
all night, which suggests a kind of madness.


Nettles sting the thighs strafed from a night
of running through slow motion dreams—

        the same carp as always circling in the murky water,
a child ringing a dinner bell at all hours of the day.


The blue trance of need settles over us
as we bob our heads courting silence.

If there is water we'll find it,


Non-believers, we believed everything
of ourselves, a line of diviners

searching for water in the house-well
of hungry ghosts,

        legs spread wide over a muddy river
of blood and sheets.


In the fever hours, lucidity opens
                like a flower
                                then closes.


I'm afraid she didn't make it
        the doctor says to the morning,
the priest nodding gamely nearby.

        We indulge the grand metaphysics
of capes and coats, and wait for them to leave—
like a woman at a police station
        having a polite donut after her rape.

The Golden Rule of public aid:
        Do not deluge the helpers
with your helplessness.

                I'm sorry is the only Nothing
        there ever is
to say about any of it.

Copyright © 2016 Sarah Estes All rights reserved
from Field Work
Cider Press Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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