Sonnet for Donnie Morgan
Some days, in order to survive, we allow ourselves
belief that the posts smashing through the grill
of the Toyota, that the impact of, not one or two, but a whole row
run through, as he veered off the road for reasons
unknown, rendered him unconscious, unaware
he was trapped by twisted wood, angled metal
braces growing hotter on his legs that couldn’t run.
Someone so young, being struck lame, already a god-
damned shame. Now, this violence, this end, crisp glass
in the wind, in our eyes. We don’t ask what the reports
might say, what ignorance enables us to push away –
him, awake, burning. Some days, his laughter echoes
up the stairs, heaven’s lucent snow. But mostly,
the house is silence. Mostly, flame.
Melanie Graham holds a PhD in poetry from the University of Lancaster, UK and recently completed her MFA at Sierra Nevada College. Her poems have appeared in Drunken Boat, Cherry Tree, The Mailer Review, and as a finalist in several competitions, including The Southeast Review, Split This Rock, and So To Speak. She won the 2016 Kakalak Poetry Prize. Her poem “Honeybees Returned” for Sylvia Plath is forthcoming in Fat Gold Watch, an anthology dedicated to Plath.