I will show you fear in a handful of dust
The urn tips from the mantle,
or is thrown in anger, and cracks.
Gray ash drifts like snow over
the living room rug. You’re breathing
in Great-aunt Georgina. Oh, dearie me.
A monster made from the dirt
too dry to keep your crops alive
bears down on the midwestern desert
your home has become, roaring
and tearing at the boards of the barn
with claws and teeth of knife-sharp sand.
Crouching in the ruins of the ancient forest,
you bend to scoop up sawdust in your palm.
You let it sift through your fingers, dance away
on the wind. On the edge of the field of stumps
and devastation looms a line of trees, marked
with bleeding crosses of carmine paint.
Your eyes tell you they’re next for the levelers.
I will show you fear in a handful of dust,
because dust is what remains when life
has been pulverized to bits miniscule enough
to be snatched away by an errant breath.
Emily Baker is a student and writer from East Tennessee who is good at baking and less good at keeping plants alive. She specializes in poetry and short fiction, but just loves the art of a good story in any form. She wants to cultivate a lifelong love of learning in herself and others, for all manner of things from history to woodworking to languages. She believes we live in a fascinating world and wants to know and experience it as deeply as possible.