"Raccoons" and "Esther in First Light"


Raccoons read like shadows
crossing the shadows
of stone angels guarding
the sanctified in St. Mary’s
private Catholic Cemetery.
Confused by human avarice
and greed, they plant alibi prints,
long fingers and toes, all along
the riverbed, leave the skins
on the fruits of snakes and crayfish.

Tell me again about the tenderness
of sin, the reconciliation of the body.
When we wake we bring just ourselves
to each morning, we make promises,
we don’t see them through.
We loosen knots of darkness,
stare at the afterimage of night.
We free ourselves to trespass
through memorial gardens,
then across the fields of god.



Esther in First Light

We watch last night’s failed escalade
from inside the castle’s allure,
whisper back and forth
as if our children lived here.
In first light, your wig and Zofran​
on the bed stand, saucer of yellow almonds,
cup of tea, on the floor,
I tilt your chin, open your airway,
perform rescue breaths.

And although facts and conclusions
have changed since your last treatment
and are no longer valid,
bruises like dirty bubbles rise
to the surface of your wrists,
your throat, your pleas, 
I can only afford to miss one
of every four questions, confuse
your pulse for mine, stay with you
until the scene becomes unsafe,
you show obvious signs of life,
or I’m too exhausted to continue.



Robert Wilson is a teacher, mentor, and poet whose most recent works appear in the Lily Poetry Review, the Pinyon Review, Poetica, and Snapdragon: A Journal of Art and Healing. Robert recommends supporting The Dandelion Review.


Edited for Unlikely by Jonathan Penton, Editor-in-Chief
Last revised on Thursday, June 13, 2019 - 22:36