Go Count the First Seven Stars
Go count the first seven stars
you see—then come tell me.
And off the boy ran into twilight,
tilted his small head back and began,
One. Two…three. Waiting for four more
to reach out of the darkening.
So much is never seen, nor allowed
in Rwanda: plastic bags—
you will not see the wind
define itself in a desperate pile
along the side of a red road.
Yellow fever—too many get swept
away—so few show signs
or symptoms. Brooms. Or is it dirt?
Sturdy reeds lashed and tied
to a worn pole—words and dust
pushed into unsayable edges—
dead mothers and missing,
one child found outside,
counting to seven.
There is no eight.
Sarah Dickenson Snyder been writing poetry since she knew there was a form with conscious line breaks. She has been an English teacher for many years, a mother for several, and a frequent participant in poetry workshops. She was selected to be part of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and has had poems published in Comstock Review, Bloodroot Literary Magazine, West Trade Review, Main Street Rag, Zeugma Magazine, and Mothers Always Write, as well as other journals and anthologies.