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Friday, November 27, 2020


by Ilene Millman

“Taking Stock” by Keith Knight at The Nib.

If I were collecting evidence
wouldn’t I look at the tire tracks
tracing broken distances
living to dead
in stock dividends and expense accounts—
who has the motive—they who look like citizens
changing the map
leaving no forwarding address?
If I were collecting evidence
wouldn’t I analyze photographs,
video recordings, tweets
brittle as promises
and autopsy the bones
cracked like hope
and stacked deep
in boxes of discord?
If I were the one collecting evidence
shouldn’t I unpack the fingerprints
floating fibers, strands of hair
from the briefcases of influence
brushing what’s there to see
and lay them end to end
across this current carnage—
a measure of the outstretched fingers of God
or the smallest fisted hand?
In addition to writing poetry, Ilene Millman is a speech/language therapist currently working with school aged children and volunteering as tutor, tutor trainer and assessor for her county Literacy Volunteers organization. Her poems have been published in a number of print journals including The Journal of New Jersey Poets, Nelle, Connecticut Review, Paterson Review, Passager and anthologized in several volumes including the recently published Show Me Your Papers. She is an associate editor of The Sow’s Ear. Her first book of poetry Adjust Speed to Weather was published in 2018.