Sara Wallace

after the child lost most of her hearing: Sara Wallace

after the child lost most of her hearing

in the rubble of March
a field stripped bare

tender shoots of the lightest green
winnowing their way up
through scattered gravel
and the stiff remnants of corn stalks

she found a cow’s bones
blue and soft     and the rusted bells

she knew were supposed to make sound
if she dared bang them together

but she pulled off her hearing aids
sat down in the mud
and stared at the bells instead

watching them as if they’d come alive
until the cold under the mud
ate through her coat and thin dress

until she could hear a deep boom in her mind
then a high-pitched aftershock

like the cicadas she remembered
thickening the trees
at the end of summer

Sara Wallace is the author of The Rival (selected for the Agha Shahid Ali Poetry Prize) and the chapbook Edge (selected for The Center for Book Arts Poetry Chapbook Competition). Her poetry has appeared in such publications as Agni, Hanging Loose, Michigan Quarterly Review, Poetry Daily, Yale Review and others. A recent participant in the Festival Internacional de Poesia, (Santiago, Chile) and a finalist for a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, she is a recipient of a grant from the Sustainable Arts Foundation and fellowships from the Virginia Center of the Creative Arts and the Millay Colony for the Arts. She currently teaches at New York University and lives in Queens.