The Artist Saves Her Skin –

originally written 2017, but it feels relevant this year.

you may have to hide under a table, with your eyes wide open
a madman is turning your family into skeletons
you try to warn them, your loved ones
you tell them not to trust this imposter, he is no healer
you plead and cry
but they cannot hear you
you have lost your voice saving your skin
then half a century later
you will see a stag running
and cry “NO!”
and it will leap into the air with more grace than you have ever imagined
it will leap twice its height and more so in distance
it will be frozen in flight, a perfect arc of nature
when it hits the side of the oil truck in front of you
the force of the collision throws it fifteen feet back
into the ditch, broken legs flailing
on that country highway
driving, you weep
with your eyes open
and you will get out of the car and onto a little bike
to drive to the deep wide river
and board the ferry
because you are tired of weeping
and you are tired of warning
and the river will take your tears into itself
and wash them away
but the cars and trucks will crush your tiny bicycle
so you veer to the side and watch them pass by
and you wait
that is when you will turn back to where you came from
and see a towering semi truck
its angry and greedy skeleton
barreling through the snaking turns
twisting its bulky body into these tight curves
where it has no business being, even slowly
and you will see it happen before it happens
your open eyes have seen it
your skin has felt it
the semi tips and falls and spins and spins
taking out everything in its path
and everything following
so you will turn away from the fire and dust and the noise
back towards the wide river
and your road will be open
and clear