How the stone wouldn’t break
open for the girls in their bodies
brand new to the world, tender
squeal the sound babies made
on their way from night-trees
to the arms of mother, blue lipped
with the last prayer, choked
like coyotes with bones of pups
they offered buzzards—how stones
wouldn’t and honey wouldn’t, nor blood,
so girls spun shadow and the other
side of devils made sounds of death-heads
taking in dark, mother of light—god how
stones cannot give and in hiding, heal.
Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College. Her first full-length book, Before Isadore, is forthcoming with Sundress Publications and she has two chapbooks in print with Thrush Press and Mouthfeel Press. She is an associate poetry editor for The Boiler Journal. Her work has appeared in the following: Devil’s Lake, Night Train, Versal,Sugar House Review, Four Way Review, among others.