Sarah E N Kohrs

A Paper Chain of Immigrants

A paper chain of immigrants, hands
                                  holding the snipped silhouettes
of one another's dreams becoming,
                 wades through reedy waters lapping a shore
deemed more just. A land where
                             eastside boulders once snapped off
from Africa years upon years before,
                when the world was devoid of even an ocean
that remembers. Chained angels
                                     aren't made of crinkly papers
scrawled with waxy colors,
                            but vein-etched skin that pricks red,
tinker-thinking, and blistered heels
                           pushing them beyond borders nature
didn't weave. I imagine the invisible lines
                        a dragonfly makes roving across a field.
Here, there; now, then. Unabashedly afraid
  to the point there's no more pausing before progressing.
Will it stop for you? For me?
          I wonder what just water feels like on tired thighs
or the slurp of mud sucking shoes from below
                                 or the awkward push and pull of
hands refusing to let go of one another,
                           forming their own boundary of peace.

Illuminating Raccoons

In a cornfield in August,
     when tassels start past prime,

a flashlight bobs
     before dawn trickles into

the starlit sky above ridgelines.
     The roving light darts

in mad squiggles, unreadable
     even by honeybees. In-

evitably, everything strays
     where you don't want it to.

Or, leaves you targeting
     what's unidentifiable

even with the tracks
     and the spread of kernels

like missing teeth
     Hansel never tried trailing

behind him. It's a maize
     whose stable sweetness

threads into bone, used as stones
     to grind another harvest

from what was left before
     before what was left.

Author Portrait

Sarah E N Kohrs is a potter, photographer, and writer, with poetry published in Adelaide Literary Magazine, Claudius Speaks, Colere, Crosswinds Poetry Journal, From the Depths, Gone Lawn, Horn & Ivory, Poetry from the Valley of Virginia, Rattle, Raven Chronicles, Scintilla, Virginia Literary Journal, and the winnow. She has a teaching license, endorsed in Latin and Visual Arts, and homeschools her three sons, as well as directs Corhaven Graveyard, a historic burial ground for formerly enslaved Americans, and manages The Sow's Ear Poetry Review. Sarah lives in Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, kindling hope where it's needed most.

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