POETRY: ALICE BURDICK
Nothing’s different. The things that were
here before are here now. The men
whose mouths move and make angry sounds -
they were here. They growled.
The sounds are loud and empty
spaces where words were excised. Words
lean on walls in the detention room. They
seem aimless, but they’re making plans.
They’ve been locked up before.
They snuck in scissors and cut shadow words to throw
through the bars, set free to assemble
and organize to take the horrors down.
These are bad times.
But they’re not so different
"Borders" appeared in the pamphlet from Happy Monks Press, “How the End Comes”, 2019
I used to care, but that was in the free
days, the ones between the named
days, the ones without numbers
and holidays. The way it went was:
a person walked across an invisible border,
through gullies, ditches, other dips in the land.
Weather was brutal, its length meant cold
took fingers. That guy in the news knew
the story went only to the end of care. Past that,
fingers fell, care rolled up the rim, and the charter
bus rolled back to the land of the free.
The wolves curled up under cold
trees and learned the sound of no-howl,
no-growl, their minds loud with the crackle
of celestial sheets of light. Their care
made sound go underground, into tunnels
of ears and animal minds. This is when
care went incognito to the hunters,
but the language in the wolves’ minds grew.
I used to care, but that was in the loud days.
I made it sound worse and better than it was,
and dug a hole under the tree, in the ditch and divot,
and this is where the unnamed held dormant
in the winter snow, pushing down
its seed for the longest, endless hope.
Alice Burdick is a poet, author of four collections, one selected, and many chapbooks and other micro-press publications. Her work, in the form of poems and essays, has appeared in many anthologies, and she also works as an editor and in the schools through Poetry in Voice/Les Voix de la Poesie. She co-owned the former Lexicon Books in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.
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