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Her Children or God

Elisabeth Harvor
From:   The Long Cold Green Evenings of Spring. Vehicule Press, 1997


In the singing cold silence
they're not speaking again
while the snow-meringues
and ice-biscuits that roof
the winter-loud brook

decide to stay with us
all the way out to the highway,
we three prim with fear
in our new winter coats
in the freezing
back of the car,

stiff arms
poked so deep they're
almost drowned in our pockets
while we stare out at the cold fields
as if they sadly displease us.

When we reach the steel bridge
that's painted the same green
oxidized copper gets

after years of exposure
to rain or blue sky, the car

skips onto a patch
of black ice so that
our father is thrown
into driving like a

deranged skier
while our mother's

caged whimper
backs her up against
the chrome rib
of her door handle,

her cry
preserved in the silence
of the next thirty-five miles,

her craving for life
an embarrassment to all,
since it seems she is forever
proving with her unkindness
how much she doesn't value it
with the necessary tenderness
towards her children or God.



Elisabeth Harvor's works copyright © to the author.


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