“NPR Reports” by Sherrill Vore

Sherrill Vore


The voice is clear and light
in weight.
She is young
and sitting, I think,
very still.
Another woman translates.
The rhythm of sounds goes back and forth
creased and neat
like hands folding towels.
When did she hear that the bus had been blown up?
asks the interviewer.
She smooths out the details of her morning—
the chores done after her husband left,
before the news came.
There is so little work, she says,
and there is the baby
so they had hoped that it would be all right.
But eighty-two are dead today
and will not be policemen in Baghdad
or fathers
after all.
What will she do now?
they ask,
thinking it a reasonable question.
There is a beat of silence as she sees
the days stacked one upon another before her.
She begins at last to cry.
I reach out my hand and touch the radio.
No one speaks at all.
The unfilled airtime spills around us,
and then
they turn to other news.

from Rattle #45, Fall 2014
Tribute to Poets of Faith


Sherrill Vore: “As a professional in Christian education I spend a great deal of time trying to help people name the ways in which the tumble of daily events in our lives intersect with the story of faith. For me, being a person of faith means that I try to remember to practice attentiveness. And then I try to use what vocabulary I have to speak of patterns and mystery, pain and wonder and, finally, of hope. Poetry—both my own and others—helps me do that.”

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