Beth Israel by Dara-Lyn Shrager

06 October 2017 on Poetry   Tags: ,

The baby arrived with legs
that swung out like doors set
backwards on their hinges.
Across from the building where
he was born, another building
to tell us he will walk or
no. So we went, wrapped
in scarves against the sideways
snow. Just one day after that
blue coil sprung away from him
then back, dropping onto my belly
with a wet thud. And the red
river pooling in the shallows
where the floor was worn,
painting the soles of white clogs
dancing all around my hospital
bed. I did not feel the pouring
but I imagined I could. That next
day, we rode the escalator that
swallowed its own silver teeth.
Faces stamped blank. If you have ever
stolen anything then you know how
we left that place, hunched over
our new possession, eyes down,
mouths tight, ready to sprint
if anyone called our names.


Dara-Lyn Shrager is the co-founder and editor of Radar Poetry. She holds an MFA from Bennington College. Her poems appear in many journals, including Southern Humanities Review, Barn Owl Review, Salamander, Yemassee, Whiskey Island, Tinderbox, and Nashville Review. Her full-length collection, Whiskey, X-Ray, Yankee, is forthcoming from Barrow Street Press.

"Dining Room Once", charcoal on paper, 18" x 24", 2016. Katharine Morrill's work has been exhibited nationally in such venues as the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina; the Nelson Gallery in Virginia; The Hive Gallery in Boston; the Center for Visual Arts in Greensboro; The Visual Art Exchange in Raleigh; and the Southfirst Gallery in New York City. She received her MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (2014) and her BFA from the University of New Hampshire (2011). She lives and works in Broadway, North Carolina. 

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