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That's What It Is

As if there was some treasure
map handed to us as we left
the womb. Find
this—a big X
at the intersection
of want and need.

Is that what pandemic means—
to be squeezed into silence.

Remember that nine months
we had to conjure ourselves?
And now the return—
a swimming in quiet.

My name is breath.

Even in my tears
there is inhale
and exhale.
We are always
rising and falling.

Sarah Dickenson Snyder has written poetry since she knew there was
a form with conscious line breaks. She has three poetry collections,
The Human Contract (2017), Notes from a Nomad (nominated for the
Massachusetts Book Awards 2018), and With a Polaroid Camera
(2019). Recently, poems appeared in Artemis, Rattle, The Sewanee
Review, and RHINO. A 30/30 Poet for Tupelo Press, she was accepted
both times she applied to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. One
poem was selected by Mass Poetry Festival Migration Contest to be
stenciled on the sidewalk in Salem, MA, another nominated for Best
of Net 2017.

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Previously published in
Eleventh Transmission:
"A Tale of Our Time" by Redeem Kadere.

Published June 29, 2020

45 Poems of Protest: The Pandemic

That's What It Is

by Sarah Dickenson Snyder
(White River Junction, Vermont, USA)
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