Poem by Zoë Blaylock

August 15, 2023

Olga and the Wind, circa 1933

They say Wyoming wind will drive her mad,
but she is determined to remain, keen to believe
he’ll at least send money. For their babies.
They have needs. And he, a conscience. Surely.

With sanity the goal, she makes peace.
The incessant gusts that shake the shack are now
called friends come a-knocking. Wet cloth is packed
tight against the door to catch the small of dust.

Her hope wails louder than the wind. Her yearnings,
longer than its weep. It stands to reason that soon
a turn toward zephyr will disperse the cold of sweat.
Steadfastness, she assures herself, is key.

Through a thousand prayers, a husband leaving
in the blue of night to milk another cow lies
as steady in her memory as the conviction
that coin can be hitched to wind.

About Zoë Blaylock

Zoë Blaylock’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Innisfree Poetry Journal, Amsterdam Quarterly, The Examined Life Journal of the University of Iowa School of Medicine, the other side of hope: journeys in refugee and immigrant literature, and other publications.

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