Finding Life in the Graveyard During the Pandemic
Weaving our way through the scrub sanctuary
our feet take on the sand
and the ash
of a deliberate burn.
Our steps shrouded
in the most fragile of silences.
Whole trees lay prone on the ground
hollowed out from the proscribed flames.
The fires burned here
of wings or bud
of bloom or leaf.
And if we listen with places our ears
green tendrils now sing
from the knotholes.
A wordless lyric
accompanied by scrub jays and a southerly wind.
Palm leaves lattice themselves
with pine needles, precarious on charred branches.
There is no limit
to this resurgence of living vines
in this graveyard place.
And if we listen with places our ears cannot hear,
we absorb this sanctuary cadenza
open-throated and leaning into the light, echoing
After having taught middle and high school English for 32 years, Marianne Forman is now nurturing her own creative spirit. She has spent three summers in Guizhou Province, teaching best practices to teachers in China. She received Fulbright-Hays Awards to Nepal (2003) and Turkey (2009). Marianne participated in Marge Piercy’s Juried Intensive Poetry Workshop (2016). Marianne’s poetry appears in Muddy River Poetry Review, Belle Reve Literary Journal, Jelly Bucket Journal, among others. She has a collection of poetry forthcoming in 2020 from Shadelandhouse Modern Press.