Mercedes Lawry

Forest Syllables Trees are stories.Leaf, limb, root, barkwitness time as timewas meant to unfurl.Needles, gentle or sharp,singly or in cascades.The deep hunger of the forestsettles in the mistwith birdsongand rumpled ferns.

Invariably, Descent borne on the wind,grief, a string of syllablesless nonsense, moredeparture rolling past, the glum clouds,splinter of day-moonthat becomes an echo,furtive glorious wings, eagle,raven, osprey, Cooper’s hawkI remain too heavy to fly orforget last slender leaf clings,spirals down to absence,disintegrates from russet-gold,gradual

New Rules at the Homeless Center, March 2020 15 at a time.First off, wash your hands.Shower? Laundry?2 hours till everyone’s outand we sanitize.Repeat. No where to go, maneverything’s closed,even the damn library.Back in the carif you have one. Foodbank’s closed todayfor deep cleaning.Tomorrow though, the lineswill snake around the buildingmarked by jittery gaps. Daffodils are doingtheir stalwart bestbut it’s still freezingat night. There’s plenty of socks.It’s a good sock phase,and chocolate cake. Jericho is barredbut I heat up a mealand pass it through the door,along with cake.He wants some cake.At least I can give him cake.

Mercedes Lawry has published 3 chapbooks, including In the Early Garden With Reason, selected by Molly Peacock for the 2018 WaterSedge Prize. Her poetry has appeared in such journals as Poetry, Nimrod, and Prairie Schooner. Her work has been nominated five times for a Pushcart Prize. She’s also published short prose and stories for children.