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November 28, 2022

Reliance

By Jocelyn Mosman

You are every stretch of tendon,
wrist flexed, then relaxed,
the curvature of a hand,
steady and bent.

You are brain stem activity,
words and pain both flowing
down your spinal cord
until it is too hard to write.

You are mouth and throat,
soft spoken and fragile,
swallowing blood,
choking back heart.

You rely on the body:
hand to write,
spine to stand,
mouth to speak.

As you collapse inward
like a burning house,
all I can do is hold sound
the walls,

resist the destruction,
or flee.

I will not leave.
I will not watch you burn.

I will guide your hand,
until words flow past
unspeakable pain
onto open page.

I will stand tall beside you,
become sturdy,
lumbar vertebrae,
help you climb and stretch.

I will give your voice legacy,
as student, as friend,
next generation of oral tradition
passed hand-to-hand like communion,

but when the house smolders,
the skeleton screams,
the joints crack.
I smell smoke.

As body relies on body,
I rely on you.
I will not leave.
I will not watch you burn.




** Jocelyn Mosman is an English and Politics double major at Mount Holyoke College, but is attending the University of Kent this fall. She was a member of the first ever Northampton Poetry Slam Team and is the recipient of the Gertrude Claytor Award from the Academy of American Poets. She has been published in numerous anthologies and literary magazines and is currently working on her third poetry collection.

Article © Jocelyn Mosman. All rights reserved.
Published on 2015-11-16
Image(s) are public domain.
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