Psalm 61 by Sara Parrell

Psalm 61: hear my cry

Not yet fearless she moans a little moan
only the St. Louis No. 1’s dead can hear

as hoards clamber to escape, break away
from the fallible towers but she hunkers

under star-starved sky, becomes that speck
beneath the night-migrating bunting’s wing—

snugged-in she can imagine weathering
any category-5, remember her father’s fields

planted, thrashed, picked, plowed under,
each now a dark brown nest. And in the moon-

rise of her mind the cobbled city streets
transform into furrows she crisscrosses

in her long white gown, stumbling,
mumbling to someone, I am coming home

to my husband. No matter hem cakes
with mud, taffeta laces with grubs, veil

trails knots of blood & hair.
She is daily performing her vows.
Sara Parrell won first prize in the 2008 Poetry Center of Chicago’s Juried Reading for her manuscript Psalms of New Orleans. Her poetry has appeared in Crab Orchard Review, qarrtsiluni, and the 2013 Cowfeather Press anthology, Echolocations. Sara is faculty at the UW-Madison School of Nursing, and a member of the Madison public schools’ mental health consultation team.