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Venture to Speak

A poem

Published on:
November 22, 2017
Read time:
1 min.
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Genesis 18:27

Driving to church on Wednesday night
from the chiropractor, I conjure
a profoundly poetic line about death
and how fragile I feel after it brushed
its spiny fingers along my neck last Friday
when the tractor trailer sent me spinning
off the highway on just two wheels
while I screamed for Jesus and thought, 
for the briefest moment, about my baby—
fat and happy and safe with my husband.
But by the time I pull into the church lot,
the words have evaporated.

My phone shivers with a text from a neighbor
asking if I knew why five police cars
just barreled down our quiet street.
I reach to call but a slender smudge
on my thumb gives me pause.
I remember the ashes the young Reverend
delicately smeared on my forehead last month.
Their cool smoothness so startling.
How they glided across my skin,
soaking and settling in as if
they had always belonged there. As if
they were not once lush branches,
bursting forth in the sunlit chorus
of a thousand crooked hallelujahs.

Sara Kay Mooney
Sara Kay Mooney, an alumna of Davidson College and Teach For America, is a trained librarian currently working at an education non-profit in Charlotte, North Carolina. When she’s not giving book recommendations to friends, you can find her taking pictures, frequenting thrift stores, or laughing at her husband’s jokes, among many other things. Her writing has been featured in CT Women, Misadventures Magazine, and CharlotteFive.

Cover image by Ruben Bagues.

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