Kelly R. Samuels
It isn’t as if we couldn’t manage the road
though it would take caution — the careful step over
what had rucked and split.
Underneath there is a brewing heat that emits
steam, would remind us of other realms — the layers we learned of
You, the names.
Me, the drawing with all its shading.
He says the basements never needed warming
after. That, then, the one boy fell where it gave way.
And I imagine a cry and an arm
and the blessing of something.
There’s a rusted street sign, a cemetery, the husk of a rowhouse.
Along the slope, silver birches barely seen.
The crane’s arm is visible from the road,
as is where they’ve cleared—once you show me.
Once, the bluff’s side was nothing but trees and a trail
But there’s been less water pressure in all the new houses
and the small station just up the block can’t manage. And, so —.
In medicine, a reservoir can be the source of
infection, where nothing good comes from. How I know this,
I don’t know.
Long waits in small clinic rooms, a word flaring out
from all the others.
From French, to reserve, to keep — as if any of us would want
to retain the agent of disease, what will lead to us dying
quicker than others. But water — that’s something
It’ll be completed early in the new year, you say.
All these warm days with no snow serve as aid.
We turn away from it—
briefly—into the valley.
Much later, when I leave, nothing of it can be seen.
Kelly R. Samuels is the author of Words Some of Us Rarely Use (Unsolicited). Her poems have appeared in Salt Hill, The Carolina Quarterly, The Pinch, Juked and RHINO. Her collection on climate change, All the Time in the World, is forthcoming in September from Kelsay Books. She lives in the Upper Midwest.