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Survivor Hope Chests

Survivor Hope Chests
                            by Odin Roark

I’m of flesh and blood
hearing distant melodies
somewhere way back
behind the leafless tree,
the chicken coop,
or root cellar,
where survival is stored
for cold and wintered summers,
when breath’s rejection remains constant.

I’m of sight watching today’s resident spider
in furry overcoat waiting at web’s corner
bidding flies that never come,
knowing death as they do,
determined to live another day.

I’ll smell yesterdays forever,
for death’s rancid decay never settles,
under-tarp dankness forever stays in my hair,
and once fragrant flowers are but memory.

I’ve tasted it all,
the Red Cross coffee,
the trashcan discards,
the airdrop packets,
and even the occasional meal,
but most of the time,
the longing bile of my emptiness.


I can still touch my toes,
sometimes of blistered history,
sometimes of flapping sole
clinging tenaciously as only friend.


I tell myself tomorrow will come.

There will be another day.

I can make it.


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