April 27, 2018 Poetry , POETRY / FICTION

Gil Serpereau photo



Sarah Dickenson Snyder




Rwanda After Twenty-Four Years



What is more unbelievable—

the horror of the million slaughtered bodies

or the ability of the survivors to forgive?

What were the sounds,


the ones collapsed

into the red dirt.

A parade of sounds—

Squeaking, battered bikes


piled high with pineapples,

small hand saws slicing

branches to make a ladder,

the glint of machetes


resting on a shoulder,

everyone speaking

another language,

a distant cow call,


leaf shuffling, a cloud of insects.

Is there a message in the bird song,

the murmur of starlings,

a veil in the wind.


No one asked for anything

but breath, a step—

and the moon

a curve in the beyond.






Flora & Fauna in Rwanda



The horizon

line between land

and landless is indistinct.

Black serrated wings wide


and gliding smooth the sky.

A wheelbarrow lumbers

past the trees that were a witness

to the jagged bullet


holes in the overhang

of the rusted roof. Birds on a sill

are still, little effigies, the lake

below, a mirror.


Bruised, flattened hibiscus

blooms dot the red paths,

& a tiny fern clenches closed

if touched.






Sarah Dickenson Snyder

Sarah Dickenson Snyder has written poetry since she knew there was a form with conscious line breaks. She has two poetry collections, The Human Contract and Notes from a Nomad. Recently, poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Stirring: a Literary Journal, Whale Road Review, Front Porch, The Sewanee Review, and RHINO. She was selected to be part of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference both times she applied. In May of 2016, she was a 30/30 Poet for Tupelo Press. One poem was selected by Mass Poetry Festival Migration Contest to be stenciled on the sidewalk in Salem, MA, for the annual festival, April 2017. Another poem was nominated for Best of Net 2017.

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