Newspaper headline
Somerset, PA

This is the popular miracle
to which we bow down,
a gasp in our throats,
thousands ready to weep,
disbelief exhaling relief
and not that dark mine of tragedy
that keeps collapsing
around this tunnel of a country.

But there are other wonders too:
untelevised, deeper down,
the tap-tap-tapping
left between breaths
hungry for spirit—
that canary not-yet-dead
in our damp labyrinth—
the way we long for light,
for even a candle-glow of joy
for what was once lost.
“Alive! Still Alive!”
our pulse mutters,
trying to pray.