"An Attempt at Reverence" by Chase Ferree


Some emotions settle, like silt

or a graveyard. Others hover –

a rising and falling, the torque

of the earth. The patience to stand

and watch arrives suddenly,

like a fly in your mouth or

a midday foghorn, a partial accident

where all signs point to perpendicular.

Market Basket was a place

where if I cried, I knew no one

would extend a glance. Comfort

rests in such realization,

though I don’t think my tears

ever dampened the aisles the way

other humors did. Sweat, spilled

milk, butchery juices. More blood

I’m sure but I only ever caught it

on the sidewalk outside.

Three perfect drops beside a torn

pigeon’s wing—splayed beautifully.

The red-tailed hawks would hunt

around the ever-crowded parking lot.

In a time like this, there might

be something to say on the line

between nature and asphalt,

the roots that break holes

in the street as they search

for water, for air: it’s hard

to be in the world

and impossible not to.


Chase Ferree (he/him) is a teacher in Seattle, WA. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Emerge Literary Journal, Peripheries Journal, Juke Joint, and elsewhere.

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