Hold your baby, the one you have,
or will have, or were, warm and sleeping
on your chest, her velvet head nestled
under your chin, smelling of milk.
What would you do to ban chlorpyrifos
from his blooming brain, sulfur dioxide
from their pink lungs, lead from her fresh
veins, pangs from his teaspoon stomach?
What would you do to save them from
Woolsey & Maria & Thomas, from gold
blindered liars tying stiff nooses out of
stilled currents and winds? What would
you do to cut your baby down from the
gallows, where she cries on a block of ice
beside whales, bees, sparrows, and corals,
sequoias, krill, and mangroves, all parching
in the winter sun. We will
Elizabeth Kuelbs holds an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her work appears in The Timberline Review, The Poeming Pigeon, Cricket, Mothers Always Write, and elsewhere. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee, and the author of a chapbook forthcoming from Dancing Girl Press.
Photo by Gilles Rolland-Monnet.