MEMORIAL DAY by Chelsea Dingman

/ / Issue 19, Uncategorized

Not the storm, but the calm. 
Not the flurry of attention
               called to the sky.
Not the rumour of a hurricane on the horizon.
Not humidity, the mosquitoes rising
               like smoke from the fields. 
Not a history of revisions we call
               love, or survival. 
Not the children lost and discarded.
Not the borders that hostage them. 
Not how we were once possible 
               under this tyrant
sky, the familiar sorrow of the fields.
Describe our self-importance. 
This awareness that travels us like a siren.
Why the live oaks drown in brown pollen
               gripping the streets. 
Who else will wash this mess clean?
Laundry-damp, our houses. 
Thick with spoiled food and loneliness.
In times of love and crisis, we’ve been
               the most alone.
Planes take off without us.
Children flit between namesakes like wasps.
We miss what is ours while it is within reach,
along with the dim sound of thunder 
in the distance, storm drains already chuffing.
Let any absence mean we are loved. 
Let the rain come soon, and be done with us.