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Leavings from weather  
that came through last night 
litter me, litter us. 

Times are not what you think 
they are—another wave waits 
it burns and can’t shine. 

A shield won’t hover here 
over the weal. See—rain 
is neutral in this matter. 

Those we misplaced or 
mislaid become frozen notes 
played in eternal pursuit  
of the hook. 

Thunder cracks and stops 
in mid-roll 
frightened by birds 
at the treeline, 
then restarts. 

By-God stitch up our 
beaten house of shards,  
only omnipotence can save us. 
We’ve turned out 
to be the unchosen. 

Photo by Andrei Ciobanu on Unsplash

L. Ward Abel

L. Ward Abel’s work has appeared in hundreds of journals (Rattle, Versal, The Reader, Worcester Review, Riverbed Review, others), including a nomination for a Pushcart Prize, and he is the author of three full collections and ten chapbooks of poetry, including his latest collection, The Width of Here (Silver Bow, 2021).  He is a reformed lawyer, he writes and plays music, and he teaches literature. Abel resides in rural Georgia.