» Poetry

the crossing

we are building a viaduct

because we decided

this time,

we will not  travel

underground, live in the great dismal,

drag our bodies through the marsh,

hide in the cattails.

in the plain view of daylight

above the gorge,

as high as millau in france,

our railway.


once we perfect the art of brick making,

you can decide how many are needed.

that woman over there, maybe she can

decide how many tons

our spillway can hold.

this old one with the braids

like a hive,

i hope she’ll teach us about

about steel.

she knows how to reduce

sulfur from iron to keep it strong.

look at her hands.

look at her crafted shoulders,

but do not touch unless you

are invited.


darlings, there is a job

for us too.

ours might be the gathering kind.

talkers sing like brave birds.

poets plow the top soil

dancers paint with perennials.


we will call all hands.

hurting hands are beautiful.

photographers shoot

for our annual day of remembrance.

we can alternate hosts.  I’ll sign up for that.

we have all agreed, no borders.  no borders.  no borders.


Sherrie Fernandez-Williams

Sherrie Fernandez-Williams, author of Soft: A Memoir, is a recipient of an Artist Initiative Award through the Minnesota State Arts Board, a Beyond the Pure Fellowship and SASE/Jerome Grant. She was a Loft Mentor Series winner for Creative Nonfiction, a Jones’ Commission Award Winner through the Playwrights’ Center and was selected for the Givens Black Writers Collaborative Retreat. She's been published in literary journals and anthologies including Subtle-Tea, R-CVRY, Segue, Summit Avenue Review, Branches, The Poverty and Education Reader, and How Dare We Write. Fernandez-Williams discovered her need for words in Brooklyn, New York, where she was born and raised, but she “grew up” as a writer in the Twin Cities. Currently, she resides in Saint Paul, Minnesota, where she also works as an arts administrator.