By E. Ethelbert Miller

Noah's Ark riding on a swell after the Great Flood


(for J)

We will all die in small rooms
maybe no larger than the ones
we live in.

Space is as suffocating
as despair.

If we are blessed we will live
with another as if waiting
for Noah to take two more.

Too many lives overwhelmed
by floods of sadness and hearts
of secrets.

May we never become outlaws
to love.

Image of a brightly lit rtree covered in moss and green leaves.


(for Rebecca King)

After the storm the old trees
could be found sitting in a circle
telling the children about the first rain
and the day the wind disappeared
because it fell in love with a cloud.

They say every story remembers
its beginnings
and no story ever ends. If one sits by a river
long enough, years of life will leap
from a dream.

Each year no different
from a star—
a moment
of glitter as if time lives just to kiss
one’s lips.

E. Ethelbert Miller headshotLiterary activist, author and poet E. Ethelbert Miller’s new book, The Collected Poems of E. Ethelbert Miller, will be published this spring by Willow Books. He is the chair of the board of the Institute for Policy Studies, and a contributing editor to Voice Male.