People see my scar and say
You’re lucky.

But when I wake I listen
to make sure she’s breathing.

And in the clearest morning sky
the tiny silver plane appears
to be falling.

Many things burn to the ground.

In a frenzy of pedestrians
a woman sits with an outstretched hand.

Starlings flock to a dirty puddle.
A squirrel bolts through traffic.
Pigeons are aggravated, ground resigned.

Woman with a crew cut on the sidewalk
and her small red bucket.

I put in a few dollars; she says God bless you.
I want to tell her no –
I want nothing from God –

You, you bless me.


Alison Prine

ALISON PRINE’s debut collection of poems, Steel, was chosen for the Cider Press Review Book Award and was released in January 2016. Her poems have appeared in The Virginia Quarterly Review, Shenandoah, Harvard Review,Michigan Quarterly Review, and Prairie Schooner among others. She lives in Burlington, Vermont where she works as a psychotherapist.

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