Betsy Sholl, a former poet laureate of Maine, is author of several collections of poetry, including Otherwise Unseeable (2014).
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Blindfolded and gagged, tossed in the back
of a car—it's how they gather up young men
and after tire irons and chains, leave some
lying in the road like dirt, rained on all night.
Some are bundled-up, tossed off a bridge
into the river whose muddy swirls warn:
kick, fight, breathe, twist your arms free.
Some do. They rise, spit out the rags
stuffed in their mouths, limp back to town,
and one begins to sing—slow at first— Lord,
I want to be in that number ... Another moans
a low muted tone where words won't go.
Learning to Love the Sky
Tonight I Am Mending Clothes
I use old cloth on the knees, stitch boldly.
The dress I hem more carefully
camouflaging the thread, an animal in grass.
Honor the Aged
You may be saved yet.
Your grandmother's praying.
She's saying to anyone who'll listen:
Throw out the curtains. Stop
coaxing wind down from the trees.