Counting Miracles at the State Asylum
By Rhett Iseman Trull
Some nights, Estelle lets us join her outside
while she takes a smoking break
and calls her girlfriend on her cell phone.
Josh and May and I sit nearby in the grass,
leaning against each other, counting miracles.
Not white doves drifting by at just the right moment
or some former comatose staggering back from the brink,
making talk-show claims about light. We don’t believe
anymore in that rare luck some call blessing.
But we’ve learned a thing or two
about miracles for the common man,
the stuck man: a nest of robins about to hatch;
fast cars on the highway, going somewhere;
in the sky, webs of lightning. And that squirm of rhythm
whenever the stars flare up, holding on
to centuries of wishes, polishing them
over and over. The stars know the danger
of even a bingo-paced Wednesday
and light themselves every night in celebration
of the simple fact of our survival.
Rhett Iseman Trull’s poetry has
appeared or is forthcoming in
many journals, including The
Greensboro Review, Iron Horse
Literary Review, Poet Lore and
Prairie Schooner. She lives in
Greensboro, N.C., where she
works at Acme Comics and is
the editor of Cave Wall
After its original publication in
Miracles at the State Asylum"
was included in the anthology
After Shocks: The Poetry of