The Fawn

Oakland, September 9, 2020

 

The dark sky surreal

burnt umber

the color of a child’s crayon

 

the sun uneasy red

 

smoky skies

fire’s residue

five million acres

 

and there she was

stutter-stepping down

Mason Street

 

a fawn

white tail flagging

beige      softness

 

deer       stillness

 

we stared

ghosted                  by silence

 

 

moisture               pulled from plants

as temperatures                rise

 

man’s folly

ready     to flame

 

sometimes in the darkness

you can see more clearly

 

I’m sorry                I whispered

 

Hunger Stones

Hunger stones as memorials

hunger stones as warnings

of famine of drought of

emaciated animals, failing crops

of too many bodies to bury

 

Stones embedded into river banks

in 1417, 1616, 1717, 1842, 1892

carved with words or pictures

to alert people that when the stone is

exposed, the river is perilously low

 

So many hunger stones now visible

our land parched and burning

revealing the truth buried beneath

 

A toy gun held by a twelve year old boy

I can’t breathe cried eleven times

a stolen box of cigars, a counterfeit

twenty dollar bill, a man asleep in his car

a man selling loose cigarettes

 

Hunger stones named Eric Garner,

Michael Brown, Tamir Rice,

Walter Scott, Alton Sterling,

Philando Castile, Stephon Clark

Breonna Taylor, George Floyd

 

Wenn du mich siehst, dann weine

carved on a hunger stone in the Czech Republic

If you see me, weep

 

Claire Scott

Claire Scott is an award winning poet who has received multiple Pushcart Prize nominations. Her work has appeared in the Atlanta Review, Bellevue Literary Review, New Ohio Review, Enizagam and Healing Muse among others. Claire is the author of Waiting to be Called and Until I Couldn’t. She is the co-author of Unfolding in Light: A Sisters’ Journey in Photography and Poetry.

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