“Time(s)” by Amanda Yskamp

Amanda Yskamp


The news is there’s a shortage of coffins,
the telegram has been decoded,
and the grandmother deported despite dementia.
The news is the toucan is heading up the mountain,
they’re playing volleyball at the nuclear test site
(the satellite shows), they’re bartering tampons in jail,
they’re smoking to feel free, they’re letting her speak,
they’re not letting her speak, they’re not letting her
show her face. The news is truth-telling
leads to reconciliation, there’s a shivering,
what they did is unspeakable, but some speak
of it, some think coming home is worth the risk,
the rendezvous is worth risking what the mountains
are silent about, some escape, some on foot,
some are rousted from the riverbanks
minutes before the flood, playing violins filled with water.

Poets Respond
April 30, 2017


Amanda Yskamp: “If you were to read the newspaper with the aim of arriving at some kind of holistic world vision, of understanding these times from one day’s news, with an accumulation of details, this would be (is) that poem. This is a kind of collage that shows the temperature and the tenor of our time(s) by sampling from the (NY) Times.” (website)

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