Transition Poem 23 @ Dec. 1, 2016

Sarah Dickenson Snyder
For Light

Just dip
your pen

and write,
let the words

unfurl, light the darkened
windows, the way

small candles do,
how every darkness flickers.

I will tell you about hope—when
the article I was reading in the medical library

of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, gave people
diagnosed with what my father had a .05% chance of survival,

and I began to see my father as part of that spark—
how I started to watch funny movies with him in the small

hospital room to get endorphins swimming in his diseased blood,
how I made signs for this room—slogans he remembered

from the Marine Corps, Praise the Lord—Pass the Ammo!
Doctors nodded, saying a positive mind will help them

as they insert ports into his skull and chest to deliver poison—
how he shrunk to a skeleton as if he were melting—

many months of this, and he lived. Fifteen
more years. Let’s become

cathedral builders of hope,
of listening, of a country

with a light
for each window.


1-1Sarah Dickenson Snyder’s first full-length collection of poetry, The Human Contract, is forthcoming from Aldrich Press, and her first chapbook, Notes from a Nomad, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. In May 2016, she was a 30/30 Poet for Tupelo Press.