These Days; From the Eye of Disaster by Molly Fessler


these days,
you pull boys from the river, and ask them
if they have wishes, and if their fathers

we spend hours listening to sunshine
and wonder as it
spills down over us
like the inside of a

these days,
we are all wandering, wondering our way through
a dark slice of cold earth
and asking ourselves if we can bear


I ask myself if i can be cold again–colder
than i can imagine
with only my memory to recommend

but you and i lay in the
soft leaves of earth
amongst beet sprouts
you have just planted
and look up at helicopters on the
way to the hospital

maybe they carry normal things–the

bread and butter heart attacks
sharp kidney stones
unexplained bones that broke
no ambulance to take
to the
emergency room

I don’t know about you
I am a walking epidemiological experiment
I catalogue my ills my sicks my slight twinges
I take my temperature on the hour

I tell myself i could stand in the fire for a while
But i don’t really know how hot fire can get

these days
canoes capsize on the river
you wade calmly in
pull small boys to shore
and i wrap them in bath towels

the sky blue as your eyes
man on the edge of the water, yells

swim swim
as if, without his help
we all may have thrown up our hands
and sunk,

Author Bio

Molly Fessler grew up on a llama farm outside Detroit, and studied at Bryn Mawr College. She is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer, serving in Belize from ’14-’16. She is currently a medical student at the University of Michigan. Her work has been published in Real Simple online, The Fairy Tale Review, NPR.org, and Cicada Magazine, among others. Co-founder of Auxocardia, an online journal for health professional students, she can be found at auxocardia.com.


#poetry #reflection #uncertainty

Image Credit

Thomson, John. “Pearl River, Kwangtung province, China.” Wellcome Collection, https://wellcomecollection.org/works/kuwexquy.