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Ed McManis is a writer, editor, musician, and former head of the Sterne School. He and his wife, Linda, own and operate McMania Publishing and live in Denver.
I read a poem about people
turning to stone. The idea’s
not so new—it’s in the Bible,
characters turned to pillars of salt
for doubting the Lord—
pay-back for the human itch
that makes you look
over your shoulder, curse.
I remember people as trees
from my little sister’s mythology
books with Middle Eastern
curlicue covers, recall her
gluing leaves to her arms
one summer, sticks in her golden
hair, how she stood next to the
giant elm out front, arms extended
in a “T” until she succumbed
to lunchtime and gravity.
Stone, salt, wood, I think
we secretly choose our elements
once we’ve squandered our life
force, waited in the wrong lines,
bled for the wrong people,
leaked our light.
I’m hoping for wings next, maybe
a griffin, even a stone lion,
something on horseback, though I
suspect the gargoyle rising
in my chest, nibbling on my heart
will consume me first.