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Block, a Poem by Erin Covey-Smith

The blank slate

where I want to write sorrow

for the black bodies taken,

where I want to write worry

for the invisible vector tornadoeing the air

where I want to write despair

over the warming nights, the forever hurricanes,

for the gaseous demons devouring the atmosphere –

Instead, I can only half-scrawl


And it seems spring sun slants through

the open window, the forsythia blooming outside,

and writes in dappled shadow –


Which I can only half do, knowing,

if numbly, that families mourn

that lungs gasp and gargle,

that children grow up under lowering clouds.

Though I do love these sun-dappled shadows.

I love the robins that pick up pieces I forgot had fallen

and broadcast them into unhindered air.

So when they try again, and this time,

wafting in the window, spider silking through

slabs of light and write

maybe –


Erin Covey-Smith holds an MFA in printmaking from Concordia University and has been pursuing a visual and written artistic practice throughout her career. She found her way to the poetry world via her letterpress and book arts experience. Her work may be found in multiple anthologies, print, and online journals. Her debut book of poetry, Not-Yet Elegies, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2020. Covey-Smith lives in Freeport, Maine.


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