Editor's Prize Winner | June 02, 2021

Maybe You Need to Write a Poem About Mercy

after Robert Hass


Start this one with the woman standing at the edge

of the woods. Or the desert, it doesn’t matter,

what matters is she’s standing under a darkening sky

and she knows, at this point, having spent months

in the hospital, that there’s nothing she can do—

no threshold between threat and tranquility,

no demarcation she can draw around herself

for her child for protection, everything is actually

everything else, the stone just kicked

and whatever comes next are the same.

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