Napping, after Tragedy and Rain

in Gun Violence/U.S. by

I remember the rutted road, forbidden
              track of climb, drying
                            up ahead as we sauntered

toward Snyder Hill graveyard. Parents unaware
              of our coming and going. Companion in a black leather jacket,
                            even in summer, this boy. And, we, just girls, scuffing shoes.
Watch for pick-up-sticks fallen from trees.

              Decades later when I lie down to the sound
                            of yard birds, there is an edge in the silence
                                          in the afternoon’s napping. Still light outside.

There is news of new school shootings.
                            The hoot of raven, my solo approach into recall.
Whispers in a room of devastated friends, talking.

              Gray doves lifting to sail.
                            I am still the girl alone, inside

at the window in ferocious downpour.
              When at age five, my playmate found his father’s gun.
                            Died on on the cement perch beside me.

Outside, the tangle of overgrown hedges catch rain
                            like glinting treasure.
My hands run over inherited chenille.

                            Who can explain. Ghosts never lifting again from repose
in their modern catacombs.
                            at the end of our ascent. My dusty hair tangled.

Grandmother in her kitchen frying trout.
              Cicadas talking back       and the lawn

                                                         empty of voyager fireflies.



2018 was a record year for school gun violence [Axios]

Robyn Hunt lives with her husband in New Mexico and writes grants for a social services agency. She is grateful for her lineage of confident women who sang in the choir. Her debut collection of poems, The Shape of Caught Water, from Red Mountain Press was the second place winner with New Mexico Press Women’s 2014 poetry book/creative verse division. Her work is also visible on her blog, As Mourning Doves Persist, and in various journals.

Photo by Annie Spratt.