Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
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Trying to Save You

A loud wind haggles with the leaves
as I drive at 70 mph, veering from
a bundle that lies windblown on
the shoulder, my mind leaping

like Knievel across the Grand Canyon
from maybe to yes. A baby, it’s
the baby some frantic mother wrapped
in a frilly blanket and laid there

in hopes she would be rescued, so I turn
around, get out, and find the blanket’s
empty as the tomb on Easter. Trying to make
the world safe can break a person’s heart,

but good. You could not be rescued. 
I hear the ferns I hauled in from cold
turning to brown rags. The cat
we saved from drowning prowls,

eager to bite us, wild to dash into traffic
and die. I’m a map of ways that failed
to save you, or what I’ve confused
with you. Then I watched death lean

his ladder against your house and
climb through your window with his axe
to unhook the world from
the lovely promontory of your face.  

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