By Name
Naomi Thiers

If I forget
to claw for the hand of God
as morning opens her mechanical wings,
raw song cawing me up into another
day, another one, come on--cold light,
linoleum, children, the gritty, inevitable
music waiting for me, the strings--

if I forget
to cradle myself awake on God’s knuckle
black mornings, to rock myself slowly there,
slowly, through all my grief and need,
girding for trouble--

if I forget to plunge down the bright tunnel
to awe and murky gratitude even
as the alarm shrills and my daughter’s feet
hit carpet (trusting I can tumble back
in time to soothe her cries)—

if I forget, I will never rise
and these mid-life fingers will age faster
than night turns to brutal dawn,
faster than sages with calculators can claim
that God’s grip never existed, never hauled
even one woman out of bed
by name.

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