How We Are Saved
We can be saved by the fallen.
Their need drags us back into life.
Their deaths are our memories;
their lives link with what we have left.
Injured after hunting season,
men in orange retired to the boats,
the doe was stuck to her belly in a sinkhole,
a thin bone leg lanced deep into the mud.
I lifted her, heavy as she was, light
breaking through the open wood.
She let me hold her, close around her flank,
eye bright or frightened as a black marble
on the chalky winter’s sky. But that leg
would not hold her. I sacrificed
my run, stopped to catch a breath,
slid into the mud to my knees.
Believe, we have to believe, she would
walk, shaky but straight, take a few struts
and bolt into the wood. Those selves
we trade for a moment’s reprieve
from poor weather and long mornings.
Nothing really moves, the film
is a cheat, a fabrication of the strong
need to find meaning in our efforts.
Exhaustion competes with visions
of success, until together our breathing
staggers, survivors of a season, ghosts,
cousins, sacrificed for our beliefs.
I started out
walking. It was
June I think
and the year
than were I was
as the shore
sand sucked out
from beneath me,
decay in tide
on Shi Shi beach
Those who write
of the sea
are lost. Time
machines in the
edge of a dream-
a complete stop
a gear in the sayings
that welcome darkness.
Shore littered with
carcasses. Sea lion
eyes given up
to hungry gulls
near the dunes
a glass bubble
strands of searope
Mantles newly formed.
Sea dump from
a cataclysmic sky.
but that present
past now, formed of
this great body suckling
earth. I go back
the way I have come.
George Moore lives on the south shore of Nova Scotia. His poetry collections include Saint Agnes Outside the Walls (FutureCycle 2016) and Children's Drawings of the Universe (Salmon Poetry 2015). His study of Gertrude Stein’s novel, The Making of Americans: Repetition and the Emergence of Modernism, was published by Peter Lang, Inc. Nominated for six Pushcart Prizes, and a finalist for the National Poetry Series and the Brittingham Poetry Award, his work has appeared in Arc, Fiddlehead, Antigonish Review, Queen’s Quarterly, and The Atlantic.