We Never Stopped to Bury Them

There are no rest stops by the railroad tracks
for us to bury the dead. We are stuck on this train,
entranced by the chaotic melody of metal against metal
summoning fire amidst exhaust-laced snow. We create our own
fire between hot bodies pressed together in train cars.
Midnight conversations get caught around our necks as
the moon materializes across flat champagne. The moon suspends
like a frozen yolk in the sky, melting into a crescent
and then into a sliver
and then into nothing.
Its milky blood drips onto the earth until
daffodils grow from graves – life birthed of death.
But we keep moving.
This train won’t stop, and we just want to get out.
We cry to wolves when they should be crying to a sun-scorched moon,
singing Save us. Take us with you. They howl back in a guttural chorus
with nature, hanging loosely from paper bones.
But the bones continue to rattle in their sacks –
sacks of bones sitting on the side of the track
because we never stopped to bury them.

Sarah Street is a junior and Writing Fellow at the Westminster Schools in Atlanta, where she also writes for the school newspaper and edits the literary magazine. Her poetry has been featured or is forthcoming in Aerie International, DoveTales, An International Journal of the Arts, Just Poetry!!!, The America Library of Poetry, The Live Poets Society, and Teen Ink, among others. Sarah’s work has been recognized by the New York Times Student Poetry Contest, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Writing for Peace Young Writers Contest, and River of Words Poetry Project. She recently participated in the 2019 Kenyon Review Young Writers Workshop.

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