When she wakes, rigid

By Elizabeth Cranford Garcia

Stroke her hair, and rock.

Open the curtain—show her the flashing,
the bright erasures of light, the careening trees,
that suffocation, apocalypse, another plummet
down the stairs into another
tunnel, another muscled abandonment,
bursting into the world again,
her fists tight against her face.

And when you say,
That’s thunder
It’s a loud noise

believe the world is not so scary when it’s named.
Believe that she is armed now
against that vertigo
and she won’t need you, looking down
at her own child’s eyes, black with fear,
or her mother’s body in a box,
or her own hands, aged and empty.


About Elizabeth Cranford Garcia

Elizabeth Cranford Garcia is the current Poetry Editor for Dialogue: a Journal of Mormon Thought, previous Poetry Editor for Segullah, and a contributor to Fire in the Pasture: 21st Century Mormon Poets. Her work has appeared in a variety of journals and anthologies, and her first chapbook, Stunt Double, was published in 2015 through Finishing Line Press. Her three small children compete with her writing for attention, and usually win.

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