Thursday, September 3, 2020

Daily Poems from the First 40 Days of the Pandemic (Wilder)

March 22

The poet cried
this morning; worms
aggregate the soil.
Rain doesn’t fall–
there’s no need–
the cleansing has begun.

March 23

The soil has moved
over thousands of years
to make way–there is no end
though the end draws near. We wash
each day our dirt
again and again
and again
we wake and sweep the front porch.

March 24

The broom is clenched between
my teeth–I want to bite
the world’s ills into pieces
and brush them into the mulch.
All I can do
is let go, massage my jaw,
pick splinters from my gumline
and do nothing, like emptiness
inside a bucket
as it’s carried to the well.

Cheryl Wilder is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection, Anything That Happens (Press 53 March 2021), and the chapbook What Binds Us. She writes, plants, teaches, mothers, hikes, laughs, loves, and resides near the Haw River in North Carolina. You can find her online at

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