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Thursday, March 07, 2013


by Shirley J. Brewer

            "Florida calls off search for man swallowed by sinkhole." 
            --CNN, March 3, 2012.

In the quiet hour before sleep,
he removes loose change
from pants pockets, sets his clock
for an early morning rise.

Sound engulfs him, a rush
like a waterfall of furniture.
He and his bedroom disappear
into the coffin-black earth.

Is this our worst fear—
to be swallowed or suffocated
or lost in a flash? Sudden death,
faster than birth. No time to digest.

Gone—his pennies, nickels, dimes,
the man himself buried too soon.
Grief, his brother’s cry. In some deep cave,
a clock ticking all our wasted hours.

Shirley J. Brewer ( Baltimore , MD ) is a poet, educator, and workshop facilitator. Publication credits: The Cortland Review, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Pearl, Comstock Review, Loch Raven Review, Passager, and other journals. Her poetry books include A Little Breast Music, 2008, Passager Books and After Words, 2013, Apprentice House/Loyola University. M.A. Creative Writing/Publishing Arts, University of Baltimore.