Before the plague, I was a string saver. Whole drawers of different lengths and weights; twine, raffia nylon, cotton. Today, a magazine came wrapped in brown paper and twisted thread of yellow and white. It was cross style, wrapped around the length and then, with an x, around the width, knotted on the front with a bow.
The knot wouldn’t give. My fingers too blunt, and teeth, well, you know, be careful what you bite. I thought it might slip through itself, like that rabbit coming back out of its hole, but it snapped, one small piece, saved from the rest. Time will come when open things need to be closed, a bag, a box, this life.
Art: Untitled III, Jamie Dedes ©2020
Dark Time: Why Were Their Poets Silent?
We huddle around the table like early Christians in caves. The sacrament, the Word, before which all was chaos. When we leave, we carry light no matter the time of day to shatter the shadows cast by monolithic ways upon us. Alone, in our homes, rooms, chairs, we kindle new fire from old ideas. Our lines— our muses—singe our fears.
for George Floyd
George, the air today is charged with light. I breathe and hear your words seeking breath. Because I can walk, can breathe, I push uphill the hard way, steep and close with rocks, tight as my throat, closed and angry with words I can’t find the voice to say. Instead I speak your name to silent stone older than law or hate. I say your name to the fierce living wind, sing your name like birdsong in waving grass, give your name to the endless sky that holds this weeping world spinning in black, star filled space.
©2021 Subhaga Crystal Bacon
All rights reserved
2 thoughts on ““Before the plague…” — Subhaga Crystal Bacon”
I love the narrative style of these poems. I am particularly moved by Fierce Wind, not least because of its immediate relevance to what’s happening right now, but also because it casts light on so many issues of social justice and the difficulties we face to sustain our freedoms and equity.
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The poem Fierce Wind has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.