Nothing by Mouth and Other Poems by Samn Stockwell

Nothing by Mouth

She tapped the tracheal plug 
into his neck and spooned cold 
spaghetti into his empty mouth.
He choked, spaghetti and plug
scattering. He was almost 
3 with a wheelchair so armored 
it didn’t fit in the hall of their trailer.
Head strap, neck brace, trunk vest –
all the way down. 

Each time he was resuscitated
some other part of him left – accretion of tubes,
decretion of sensibility. 
Deaf, blind, then 
no response to touch –
did something hurt?

It was like holding a large starfish
draped over your arms.

Samn Stockwell

Pine Tree
Under the branches of the pine
the dog steps in his pee,
his feet scratched by ice.
The branches are twined in white
sifting on him. Whenever a bird
stretches a wing through gray
we think straining
but maybe cradling.

I had driven through Columbus,
icicles hanging off the nose
of the city, and I was coughing,
a medieval ticking sound, a cart
on cobblestones,
and the dog sick, piled
against the window, the fluff
of a long journey, the closed car
smell of last week?

Perhaps I can answer this question
correctly as though I was moored
for this life in Ohio, an iron belt
around my neck, and only able
to reach the dog with one hand.

If you though Samn Stockwell’s poetry was wonderful, you will also enjoy Bernie Crawford

Samn Stockwell’s book Theatre of Animals was selected for The National Poetry Series. Learn more here.

Find Samn Stockwell – Theatre of Animals on Amazon

Samn Stockwell - Theatre of Animals

About the contributor

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