Featured Poem • August 2017

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Other People’s Tragedies

 

Jennifer Crow

 
 

The sea swallows tears, blood, screams. Endlessly hungry, it devours the solid place where you thought to stand and the sand where you built tomorrow’s castle. Whatever you meant to pay the ocean’s gods, it will never suffice: firstborn, harvest, conscience, all of it sinks deeper than the heart can see, and leaves a bitter taste at the back of the soul and an extra shadow that follows you from shore to shore. Other people’s tragedies have a stained-glass martyr gleam, polished by sunlight and sorrow. Your grief twists like a serpent beneath the surface, an unsolved knot complicated by memory and failure. Other people’s tragedies wear a plaque, and bouquets of wilting flowers. Your grief grows barnacles and wreckage, covered with seaweed and silt. Where the edge of the earth drops away, where the depths hold secrets worse than those you keep, that is the only place to store your terrible woes and hope they will not rise until pressure and time wear away their features and even you cannot recognize them all.

 

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Shy and nocturnal, Jennifer Crow has rarely been photographed in the wild, but it’s rumored that she lives near a waterfall in western New York. You can find her poetry on several websites, including Goblin Fruit, Uncanny, Mythic Delirium, Eye to the Telescope, and Mithila Review. She’s always happy to connect with readers on her Facebook author page or on Twitter @writerjencrow.

She wrote that “Other People’s Tragedies” is “a bit of a meditation on the way that disasters are often more compelling and intriguing from the outside, while appearing much less romantic from within.”

 

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