They kept vigil throughout the night,
watching every movement, every breath,
every flicker of dwindling candlelight,
shadowy fingers of encroaching death,
until the welcome morning light
gently caressed the child’s fretting face
and soothed away the livid, bright
red of fever. All those missed heartbeats
crashed together with relief at the sight
of the child’s first smile in over a week.
Sweat-soaked sheets replaced with fresh, white
linen, the stale musk of illness whisked away,
windows opened wide, and the long night
disappeared, replaced by joyous day.
Kim M. Russell, 19th September 2019
This week Susan quotes Ida B. Wells and Abraham Lincoln, as well as sharing poetry by Rebecca Dunham, Natasha Trethewey and Richard Brautigan, all on the theme of vigilance.
She asks if vigilance is a useful community action or whether it is too exhausting; how much more creative people might be if their attention wasn’t divided by constant vigilance.
Susan asks us to write new poems that address the monitoring and vigilance we see as necessary or obtrusive.