• Beth SKMorris

Beth SKMorris, three poems


TANKA

Come up from the Pile.

Decontaminate, shower,

grab a cot, some sleep-

Can’t go home today, tonight.

Have to dig, find my brother.

NOT LIKE ORPHEUS

I made myself stay in the passenger

seat, used my asthma as an excuse,

rolled up the windows when we

got to the Pile, let others unload

water and candy from the van.

Through the side-view mirror I watched

the recovery crews approach the tables.

I could not make out their features, their

bodies masked by a grey-brown mist

of dirt and dust. One glance was enough-

I did not look through the rear view mirror,

I did not peer out the back window,

I could not force myself to turn.

I did not go out on the truck again.

The Hudson at Twilight

the blue satin sash

encircling a little girl’s dress,

the fireman’s parade uniform

no, not blue

a gray heron, futile sentry

guarding the water’s edge, ash

from burning steel drifting on the tide

no, not gray

green silk curtains

descending from the hotel window,

oil slick remnants of a crushed taxicab

no, not green

white wires, cables

twisting through the wreckage,

shards of molten paper blanketing the sky

no, not white

the black of a moonless crater,

the veil shielding the widow’s eyes-

What color is the river?

Beth SKMorris is the author of two poetry books: In Florida (2010) and Nowhere to be Found, (2014). Her poems have appeared in Artemis Journal, Avocet, Lingerpost, Poetica, and The PEN, on-line in "Screw Iowa!" and Bridle Path Press among others. Beth is a member of the Hudson Valley Writers Center and Poets House in NY, the Poetry Society of Virginia, and a seven year participant at the Palm Beach Poetry Festival, Delray Beach Florida. These three poems are included in a new poetry book Beth is working on entitled, Above the Pile based on her experience as a volunteer at the Supply Center Warehouse that supported the recovery crews and first responders at Ground Zero in the aftermath of 9/11. September 11, 2017 is the sixteenth anniversary of that unspeakable day. Always remember. . .


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