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Monday, March 21, 2011


by Jed Myers

Today, the earth did not shake
these particular streets.

From my window, each time I looked,
the scene emphasized stillness—

except for some rain, wind
bending the branches, crows

out of and under cover, fast
clouds, cars and planes,

and that squat old woman in her coat,
coming out when it wasn’t pouring,

to sit on the bus stop bench and smoke
one more cigarette. The earth

appeared satisfied to hold
itself together here, to let

things ride. Today,
on this stretch of Pacific shore,

no shudder of the stony skin
we stake our lives in—no ruptured

pipes around unharnessed dragons,
no ocean surges swallowing

whole towns, nor human
tide drifting up like ghosts

out of mangled lives. Tonight?
It hasn’t happened yet…

Drops turn to rivulets
across unbroken glass.

I, like the rest of us—
like most around here, bones

intact—will set the clock
and somehow sleep. Tomorrow’s

packed—things I’ve got to get to
down the hairline-fractured road.

Jed Myers is a Seattle poet and singer-songwriter. His poems appear in Prairie Schooner, Nimrod International Journal, Spoon River Poetry Review, The Journal of the American Medical Association, and in the new Rose Alley Press anthology, Many Trails to the Summit. By day he's a psychiatrist with a therapy practice and teaches at the University of Washington.