POEMS by Laurinda Lind

Preliminary Injury

The screaming at the playground
goes on too long and we run to see
it’s a girl, nine or ten, who’s banged
her head on an upright. Her mother
comes, so we back off, but the girl
doesn’t stop, till gradually we can
see she’s crying for more than her
ear, and the air and the metal and
the bare ground and the rest of us
absorb her grief or bereavement

or unpacked pain and we wonder
if she’s an artist still wrapped up
in herself, and how and when
she’ll know. Or maybe she can’t
know. Or maybe they beat her
at home and the most we can do
is stay where we are to hear her
and afterward, help her lash
out as long as she likes by
letting her scream on this page.



We live near thirteen lakes
with a water table so high
that our cellar is usually wet
but after two months with no
rain our lawn has gone yellow
with islands of chicory green

and blue, purple and grown
so strong in the heat that dry
as we are, we hesitate to take
them down and in fact wonder
whether we should shear
any green life gone at all.