Calling Hours

2 Samuel 14:14

Cry, but know your tears will not help
carry me down the Yellow Creek,
where I will meet so many other
happy rafters in the Ohio River –
kick our feet and let our fingers

dangle in the waters. We will tie
our rafts together as we swing
into the Mississippi, hold hands,
anticipate which way the current
turns and ride the stream with glee.

Your grief will dampen the soil,
trickle through the earth to crease
a way from tributary to the slated
river bed, swallowed by waters
rushing to the broadest sea,

where I will sink into the depths
of light, dive beneath the surface,
like so many others, to be free.

Published by Sarah M. Wells

Sarah M. Wells is the author of The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Gospels to Help Kids and Parents Love God and Love Others (2022), American Honey: A Field Guide to Resisting Temptation (2021), Between the Heron and the Moss (2020), The Family Bible Devotional: Stories from the Bible to Help Kids and Parents Engage and Love Scripture (2018), Pruning Burning Bushes (2012), and a chapbook of poems, Acquiesce, winner of the 2008 Starting Gate Award through Finishing Line Press (2009). Sarah's work has been honored with four Pushcart Prize nominations, and her essays have appeared in the notable essays list in the Best American Essays 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018. Sarah is the recipient of a 2018 Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. She resides in Ashland, Ohio with her husband and three children.

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