Skip to content →

What There Is To Give

Outside of here, my brother lost work

in the Chesapeake, and now

there is no money coming home.

Haven’t you heard the news?

There is no longer enough in the world.

Not enough oil or milk, money or bread

or labor for those of us with good bodies

and sound minds. Given that,

would you load what little you have

on a boat: stack it with carrots

and sardines and silver,

then push it, unmanned,

onto the river at night?

I didn’t think so.

Sometimes, when we’re bringing

in a girl, I catch her face before we shut

the door and she looks almost lovely:

a useless barge lit up,

bearing away on the water.

from The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and FeeblemindedFind it in the library

Copyright © Persea Books 2017
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of Persea Books.

Published in Molly McCully Brown Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.