In November 2016, I wrote this poem following the results of the presidential election. At the time, I was shocked, left feeling dazed and numb. I typed emails and nodded along in meetings during work as though underwater. I lost sleep and wrote poems instead.
We lived in the wild (a glen),
The sound of running water lulling us to sleep.
I slept wrapped in your smoke scent (a coat),
Red orange wool – same as the light behind my eyes.
Sheltering boughs overhead (a solemn oak),
We filled our bellies with fresh-plucked fish.
Gazing into the life stained eye (a stone),
What we took from the brook with clean hands.
Over the crest he approached (a man),
What we did not see in our blissful content.
The rot and the wild, malodorous (a death),
Clinging to each tender blade.
So then the darkness drops to pitch (a night),
But now is not the time for sleep.
Take what you can carry, friends (a sword, a torch),
And know that we can bring the dawn.
Teresa Mai Linh Pham lives and writes in Oakland, California. She attended the University of California, Davis, where she studied English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. She currently works in the solar industry and writes poems and stories in her off-duty hours.