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two poems /sarah dickenson snyder

When God Listens to Eve

It's hard to be the beginning,

the one pulled from a cage of ribs without the sweet smell of milk or symbiosis of skin; that's probably why he and I began our cleaving, arriving already long-limbed and flat bellied. The only sanity would be to sleep next to him, to reach and find spaces in our darknesses under the stars. Both of us motherless. I wander on the spongy soil where there’s too much to harvest, every tree humming with wind and bird sound. Ferns unfurled and generous. And those leafy walls of scent: lilac, jasmine and their shadows. All the furred and winged animals seem indifferent and ornamental. I count the loud crows without number, follow their spiriting from branch to sky. And when I look beyond to the changing moon barely there in blueness, I am surrounded and uncertain. I need to know the world of same that come from same. A seed begets a tree, a tree its fruit. Every stone stays in a perfect place except the small, smooth ones I pick up. Maker, the next time you want to make yourself into flesh and blood again, place us in a mother, let us collapse into her arms and know the watermark of a child’s tears from birth.


The Only Woman on Earth Speaks of Want

As I walk past the unfurling ferns past the shaggy fabric of willows past the constellation of crows dotting the meadow, past the unflawed everything in the nothing of sky, I wonder if I can have just a bite, a taste of its goodness, a tiny bit of the ancient wisdom. I am ripeness, restless, and alive.

Maker, beware of saying, Not this. Isn't it the depth of the world that we want? Think wind, not its sudden roar but its touch on us beyond the flash of sound.

Believe me when I say I understand instructions, but you planted in me a little fist of a heart that wants what it wants. Did you say I cannot fly? Well, now my heart is feathered, and I dream of wings.


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 Now These Three Remain forthcoming in 2023. Poems have been nominated for Best of Net and Pushcart Prizes. Recent work is in Rattle, Lily Poetry Review, and RHINO.

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