Tuesday, December 31, 2013


Hammer of Gall
By Kathleen Kimball-Baker

No early detection.
No emergency prep.

Thunder is billowing
north of her equator
and walled air ripples,
full of charge; she closes her
eyes, counts one Mississippi
two Mississippi three
Mississippi FOUR

A sopping mattress leans,
no way out, only through.
Bayous are swollen, they'll spill
She must shelter in place in the
roaring darkness . . . she fastens
her arms around what's anchored
to the floor, cold and white
and she lowers her head,
a bow to the surge

Splinters of hurt cross the
dome of her belly and
everyone and everything
is running around the wet
hair, back of neck, temples,
the place above lips
all sticky with salt water
and her wipers can’t lift
against the deluge. She
thinks this: O God
the flash flood is going
to drown me I just know it
But someone is lifting her
head just above the tide,
an angel, surely an angel
till her throat is raw
till hurt crawls out of the wreckage
like refugees. In this shelter
of tile and slippery porcelain
and hurricane hand dryers,
she slumps, awaiting rescue,
and it comes, and so do
the cuts

The storm has a name that sounds
like a southern belle: biliary dyskinesia
you know, like Frankly Scarlet

Image by psoup

Monday, December 23, 2013

Got you good

Got you good
By Kathleen Kimball-Baker

Along came the day you knew,
dangerous, like black ice.

You had a choice
but only this: do or die.
Some call that a choice,
because the dying is slow
and they don't notice,
even though it shows around
your eyes and how you walk.
So you were afraid of the do,
because you might be alone
and that wasn't at all sensible.

But you couldn't stop the longing --
For muscles humming "more"
For clumsiness, knowing nothing, and the bruises
For tree tops casting over their shoulders gold and pink
For chasing a runny nose into the woods, into cold white and blooms of darkness
For frozen waves able to sing once more
For the click of little stones the lake swallows
For the spill of painful beauty on your face

You wanted all this and sweetness,
the width of it all and the tallness, too,
the dark nights with noises and the soft safe mornings
and the whole do-over every single day
with the "feed me, water me, let me run and smell things"

You didn't think you could choose them
You thought you would die,
and you would have,
and you still will.

Then along came the day
you just knew:

The wild got you good.


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