The road by our house torn up, chasms
we navigate. And the rift in our country:
Left versus Right, vitriolic daggers thrust
against anyone taking an opposing view
of Covid vaccinations, or, God forbid,
abortion. What is the line between life
and no life? And what’s a life anyway
these days, with Putin’s minions blasting
hospitals, schools throughout Ukraine,
three thousand dead so far, not counting
spaniels and kittens, eagles and swallows.
I know Yeats’ Crazy Jane insisted
that “Nothing can be sole or whole
That has not been rent,” but I’m not so
sure, ever since the emergency midnight
surgery on my twisted insides—half
my colon ripped out—has left me
with a gash, chasm in my own belly.
WENDY BARKER’s seventh collection of poems is Gloss (Saint Julian Press, 2020.) Her sixth collection, One Blackbird at a Time (BkMk Press, 2015), won the John Ciardi Prize. She has also published five chapbooks. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Best American Poetry 2013. She teaches at UT San Antonio.