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Saturday, February 11, 2023


by Katherine Smith

I admire the bare branches of trees
for reaching into the sky
tinged pink by a winter dawn.
I admire my student for showing up
to class on this cold February morning
after she was evicted from her home
I admire lungs for breathing
the splintered air, bare fingers
for scraping frost.
I admire the baby still attached to her mother
by the umbilical cord
who survived
the earthquake.
I admire the uncle who found the baby
under the rubble.
I admire the father who sobs
my back is broken,
his grief a prayer.
And most of all
I admire the mother brave
enough to give birth
on this brave earth.

Katherine Smith’s recent poetry publications include appearances in Boulevard, North American Review, Mezzo Cammin, Cincinnati Review, Missouri Review, Ploughshares, Southern Review, and many other journals. Her short fiction has appeared in Fiction International and Gargoyle. Her first book Argument by Design (Washington Writers’ Publishing House) appeared in 2003. Her second book of poems Woman Alone on the Mountain (Iris Press) appeared in 2014. She works at Montgomery College in Maryland.