OUR HOLY SYMBOLS NEED ATTENTION
As a child I was horrified when I walked into church
and saw a poor man hanging from a cross, those drips
of blood caught in time at the center of his palms,
nails through them and his crossed ankles, his head bent
in death. A murder scene at the end of a red-carpeted aisle.
Then onto the bread I watched people eat that I could not have.
A piece of his body. And the tray of money, something else
I could not have as it passed by. Too much to store in a brain
stacking itself with fears. Those pipes blaring a hymn,
my mother’s voice otherworldly as she stood next to me.
Sarah Dickenson Snyder lives in Vermont, carves in stone, & rides her bike. Travel opens her eyes. She has three poetry collections, The Human Contract (2017), Notes from a Nomad (nominated for the Massachusetts Book Awards 2018), and With a Polaroid Camera (2019) with another book forthcoming in 2023. Recent work is in Rattle, Lily Poetry Review, and RHINO. sarahdickensonsnyder.com
In the lucid hours of insomnia
I build and multiply images—
a whole wall of unsleeping,
feel the stillness
of my husband’s body
against my unspooling.
I lift the necklace of marigolds,
a gift in Rishikesh, almost inhale
Now I’m on our road at dusk
in that echo of one gunshot.
It’s hunting season, everyone
wearing red or orange.
Where did that bullet land,
did it sink in living skin?
I am on a mission
to dig and dig
until the clink of bone,
and I find the rhyme
in love and blood.
Sarah Dickenson Snyder has written poetry since she knew there was a form with conscious line breaks. She has three poetry collections, The Human Contract (2017), Notes from a Nomad (nominated for the Massachusetts Book Awards 2018), and With a Polaroid Camera (2019). Recently, poems appeared in Rattle, The Sewanee Review, and RHINO. She has been a 30/30 poet for Tupelo Press, nominated for Best of Net, the Poetry Prize Winner of Art on the Trails 2020, and a Finalist for Iron Horse National Poetry Month Award. She lives in the hills of Vermont. sarahdickensonsnyder.com