Sonnet Responding to Evil
for Elie Wiesel 1928-2016
Evil, where do you exist? Branded
on the forearm—A-771—
of a Romanian born in 1928?
Inside the minds of men? If the camera could
turn from conquest—what would such courage take?
Oh Ricoeur! Satan, snake, stain, sin—symbols
our hearts and brains. Defiled, a girl
no longer leaves the house. Let’s sweep stories
from her door. Tell the horror of her walk
for water, name who threw her to the ground.
Listen to the messenger for mankind:
we must always take sides. When voices still,
we must lend them ours.
In Spite of the News
Tamworth’s lowbush blueberries
reveled in the relentless sun, turning
their powdery faces skyward
as I walked over lands raked by glaciers
then preserved by humans, generations past.
The dog dragged her leash through the wild riot
of violet, making me laugh
and smearing her collar sticky blue. Beneath barrens,
roots shoot off runners. Harsh northern winters
only make them stronger.
Burn us to the ground, bring your worst,
they would say, don’t fear: we’ll thrive. It’s true—guns
are going to the convention this year—
but the only thing missing today was you.
Erica Bodwell is a poet from Concord, New Hampshire. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in White Stag, Entropy/Enclave, APIARY, The Fem, Coal Hill Review, Litbreak, PANK, HeART, Barnstorm, Hot Metal Bridge, The Tishman Review and other journals. Her chapbook, Up Liberty Street, was a finalist for the 2015 Coal Hill Review Chapbook Contest, the 2015 Blast Furnace Chapbook Contest and the 2015 Minerva Rising Chapbook Contest. She participated in the July 2016 Tupelo Press 30/30 Project.