To call forth hope
one must pull taut the string
of a years-held dream, a plan laid bare,
a contentedness begun to rot.

She’ll play the owning-blame game—
guilt for miles and miles
but then remember in the dark
in strong medicinal doses

the tangled logic that
brought her here. All in the
dead of night. All in stubborn
silence. It’s in this gutted-

out room from which the call
must come. The bow, and
the arrow set carefully on fire—
not reckless; earned. Now point

that thing, aim high, and shoot.

Poems on this page are copyrighted by Beth Wood and have been published by Mezcalita Press, LLC.


Yes, there is despair.
There is cruelty beyond
all imagining. There is fire,
flood. Flying bullets, tyrants,
hearts tangled in nettles of
bramble, barbed wire, thorn.
There is uncertainty, shame,
wounded pride, shedding
of skin, walking thousands
of dust covered miles just to
take back your own name.
But there is a corgi at the
park with a wheelchair
chasing a red bouncing ball,
and that alone is enough
to keep on going.


You forget your animal self
and it has left you tipsy, un-
abridged, about to spill over
into tomorrow. The next thing
comes and you fall into it—
a hole in the ground, a non-
sensical love, a snap decision,
lightning bolt come and gone.
Dazed and bemused is your
modus operandi, sometimes
you forget to breathe. Flash
to the Missouri cowboy calm-
ing horses—that brittle polio
limp just something he wore
but never took off. They sighed
out silver clouds in bitter high
mountain morning cold as he
hummed Eeeeeeeasy and patted
flanks. Each time they forget a
little. Easy now. Forged out of
electricity, born ready to run,
drunk on the promise of new
grass, young evening sun, never
quite solving the mystery of
where the ropes come from.

Believe the BIrd cover