This is not an elegy. It’s a blackberry.
It’s a pumpkin shattered on concrete,
the porch in the background unharmed
and a river filled with children’s bodies
floating into the Halloween of hospitals;
I’ve worked too many years on an ambulance,
the orange flashing lights memorized
in my mind so that I see them in the dark
of my body, in the deep twigs of my thoughts,
so that a soft sound of breath is heard
from those married to dirt, graveyard-
blossomed, hyacinth eyes owned by ants,
and me, saved to this room, safe and clenched
in worry, free to fuck or flee, so far away
from bones, from bodies buried, only
hunted by wind, stumbling in days,
another, where I battle for pulse in Others.
Ron Riekki’s non-fiction, fiction, and poetry have been published in Shenandoah, Bellevue Literary Review, Prairie Schooner, and many other literary journals. His books include U.P.: a novel, The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works (2014 Michigan Notable Book), and Here: Women Writing on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (Michigan State University Press).