Elegy for Davidlisten

Something ran amok in a vessel wall, an
aberration. Arteries aren’t meant to
bulge to imperceptible orbs the size of
pencil erasers.

Something without magnitude flows unnoticed,
quick, and silent. No one says, “Doctor, check for
weakness in my arteries; focus on my
circle of Willis.”

Sometimes ruptures happen and life explodes in
leaps and bounds, bound toward the unknown. The soul is
jostled, pried, removed from the limitations
held by a vessel.

Some day, imperceptibly soon, we all go
toward the white light. Some will go sooner, leaving
grayer voices chanting the Mourners’ Kaddish,
praise unto heaven.

Other voices stunned at the quickness struggle
with their own mortality, wanting now to
live and make art, terribly fearful, thinking,
“When will it happen?”

by Danielle Mebert

Danielle Mebert is currently enrolled in the MFA Program at Adelphi University where she received her BA in English and her MA in Secondary Education. She teaches eighth grade English in New York. 

The Mourning After

Beneath the shadow of the canopy
With faces set in grief like chiseled stone,
We walked with pre-arranged solemnity
And one by one each placed a flower on
The noiseless drift. I wish that I had known
We needed something more. I longed to feel
Cool earth inside my fist, to toss it in
That gaping hole, to listen as it fell;
The sure finality of sound to make it real.

Next morning acting on some strange compulsion,
We found the towing yard. That haunted place
Beyond the gate, beyond our own revulsion,
Had beckoned us. We steeled ourselves to face
The mangled car. I'm not sure why unless
Like pressing on an aching tooth as if
To squeeze out all the pain at once, our loss
Demanded that we see. Perhaps, some half-
Instinctive sense takes hold when logic's not enough.

Late afternoon, we set out once again
To trace that final curve along the road
And past to where glass glinted in the sun
Like holy relics. There beneath the shade
Of death, I carved your name in guilty wood.
A single leaf broke loose and floated free
As if my mad impulsive etching had
Released from all responsibility
Absolved of sin and made an icon of a tree.

by Sarah McFarland

Sarah McFarland is a psychotherapist by day and a poet by night.  She has previously published work in Nebo, Poetic Hours, Secondwind, and Emerging Visions.  Sarah's interests include poetry (which goes without saying), art, music, psychology, geneology, history, and spirituality. Her family tease her that in one of her earliest pictures, she is sitting barefooted with a book on her lap.  Some things never change.

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