after Kay Ryan


            A hole, once unfilled, remains

            unfulfilled until the ground

            itself passes away;

            there is no healing that sundered

            dirt or patching up the once dug

            earth; the hurt remains hurt,

            even if you shoveled in some

            substitute, a rocky apology

            for what you’d done, the space

            beneath remains prone

            to reopening; it’s just the nature

            of the thing, like old wounds

            torn fresh from scurvy:

            the way the gums crawl back,

            the teeth exposed as if in anger

            or in pain – the scars we deal with

            shovels or with words, remain.

Originally hailing from the backwaters of San Jose, CA, Donald Raymond now lives in the tiny, cow-haunted hamlet of Alturas, CA, where he works as an accountant, because his guidance counselors never warned him that sort of thing could happen. He spends his free time studying Egyptology, cooking, and arguing with his cat.


You can read more of his work at Angel City Review, Arsenic Lobster, and Eye to the Telescope.