Speaking Through Sand and Salt

by Judith Kennedy Mazis

You take a tiny square of wood you have painted grey
and place it upright in heaps of sand. You find a box
of pine to place beside it and shape praying hands of clay.
A toy helicopter airlifts a plastic doll and a first aid kit
as eagles nest in trees on fire, and sparrows soar to find
more help. “My mom’s gone forever,” you say,
as you find transparent stones to form a “force field,
that can never be broken.” You look up and say,
“This is Jesus,” and “What is evil?” as your fingers form
pools and mountains in the sand and you gaze into the belly
of things you should not need to know at age ten.
Birds congregate outside the office window at high noon.
You gaze and say, “Why can’t you come to my house?”

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My poetry has appeared in The Atlanta Review, Ellipsis, Friends Journal, Mythopoetry Scholar and Poem.  One of my poems was set to music by composer Bruce Pennycook of the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas at Austin.  I have read my work at NEW CUE (Nature and Environmental Writers Conference of University Educators) in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.  I also write film reviews.  My review entitled, “Dissolution and Dwelling in Terrence Malik’s Film ‘The Tree of Life’” was published in Mythopoetry Scholar in the Winter 2012 issue.  Lastly, I recently published the edited volume with an introduction to my great grandfather’s Civil War Memoir entitled, The Civil War Memoir of Sgt. Christian Lenker, 19t Ohio Volunteer Infantry.  I am currently completing my first book of poems, decades in the works, As the Most Fragile Arise.

I reside in Lancaster County Pennsylvania along the Susquehanna River with my husband and two dogs.