Today's poem is by Cassie Sparkman


Neck-twisted horse and three broken chickens
left in my yard by flood's rush. Road washed out

in places. Last night Sarah found a bramble den
of baby foxes cupped in school's old well-mouth.

Everywhere a drip drip drip and birds crying
for lost nests and cold eggs. I washed my hands

face limbs belly breast hair and still my skin
is grime freckled. Like my kitchen, floor a rancid

mud slick, cabinets stacked with dish earth,
my body stinks of dirt and river bottom. Bible silent

on Noah's clean-up efforts after God's wrath
washed everything blue. My grief slyly

ghosts itself from room to room, waits for me
in wet corners and under lampshades. Windows

open but nothing dry yet; my face a rounded plea
for some small mercy goes unanswered. Slowly

the water keeps receding, washes back towards
its banks. Time to bury hope my Albert did not drown—

I will dig a deep hole, pull in chickens and the horse,
cover my useless grief with shovel sounds.

Copyright © 2004 Cassie Sparkman All rights reserved
from The Laurel Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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