By Sarah E N Kohrs
A paper chain of immigrants, hands
holding the snipped silhouettes
of one another’s dreams becoming,
wades through reedy waters lapping a shore
deemed more just. A land where
eastside boulders once snapped off
from Africa years upon years before,
when the world was devoid of even an ocean
that remembers. Chained angels
aren’t made of crinkly papers
scrawled with waxy colors,
but vein-etched skin that pricks red,
tinker-thinking, and blistered heels
pushing them beyond borders nature
didn’t weave. I imagine the invisible lines
a dragonfly makes roving across a field.
Here, there; now, then. Unabashedly afraid
to the point there’s no more pausing before progressing.
Will it stop for you? For me?
I wonder what just water feels like on tired thighs
or the slurp of mud sucking shoes from below
or the awkward push and pull of
hands refusing to let go of one another,
forming their own boundary of peace.
In a cornfield in August,
when tassels start past prime,
a flashlight bobs
before dawn trickles into
the starlit sky above ridgelines.
The roving light darts
in mad squiggles, unreadable
even by honeybees. In-
evitably, everything strays
where you don’t want it to.
Or, leaves you targeting
even with the tracks
and the spread of kernels
like missing teeth
Hansel never tried trailing
behind him. It’s a maize
whose stable sweetness
threads into bone, used as stones
to grind another harvest
from what was left before
before what was left.
Sarah E N Kohrs is a potter, photographer, and writer, with poetry published in Adelaide Literary Magazine, Claudius Speaks, Colere, Crosswinds Poetry Journal, From the Depths, Gone Lawn, Horn & Ivory, Poetry from the Valley of Virginia, Rattle, Raven Chronicles, Scintilla, Virginia Literary Journal, and the winnow. She has a teaching license, endorsed in Latin and Visual Arts, and homeschools her three sons, as well as directs Corhaven Graveyard, a historic burial ground for formerly enslaved Americans, and manages The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review. Sarah lives in Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, kindling hope where it’s needed most.