Crack; a poem

by Hilary Horn

‘Crack’ inspired after the shootings in Dayton and El Paso by Ana Lisa de Jong

The wind is high,
and we can hear
the hollows through the branches,
like reed flutes
echoing in long laments.
The cold has come,
with an Arctic breath
to cause the bones
to fuse
and set in one place,
that if we were to stretch
we might fracture
and break.
If we were to weep
we might freeze as water is trapped.
While across the world
it is summer yet,
the land warm
and beating as a heart,
flesh flushed and rosy as from sleep.
The birds that sing,
and the sun with a benevolent gaze,
belie the way
the earth feels the shock
of tiny ricocheting shots.
And spasms akin to
an ice shelf moving,
and melting beyond
the realm
of human sound.
Until we hear a sudden crack,
not unlike a gun let off
in a quiet place.
Not unlike an earth
rupturing at the core.

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