When a Child Asks About Angels

When my brother was swept away in a culvert
During a flash flood and into a drainpipe
Under a road, the stopped motorists, two elderly
Sisters on their way home from church, counted
Their breath until he spilled out in the ditch
On the other side alive where they cheered him
From the rail and walked down the path in the rain
In their Sunday shoes, flowered hats and dresses, and they
Guided him through the trees to the shelter of their car.
I am grateful forever to their blanket and thermos
And how they hugged him warm with their bodies
While he was trembling, their huge gorgeous bodies.

Stuart Dischell’s most recent collection is Backwards Days. He teaches at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
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