Facts never wake up by Meg Freer

Poem name: Facts never made up
Poet name: Meg Freer
Poem:  for Susan

My lip splits in the same place
every morning when I smile, 
flowering words bleed onto the floor.
How many pages will it take
to get through the desert?

The nursing home residents,
for whom nothing else can be done,
recite, “if today I am to do nothing,
I will do it gallantly,” but vultures
eat the noise of prayer.

Life’s beginning, an absurd lottery,
its end, a failed experiment. Pack grace
and patience to deal with those who use
years and pounds to quantify respect,
cut corners to end inconvenient lives.

Human wisdom is not cumulative.
The drip torch lights a controlled burn,
and wildfire on the move sounds like a train.
We seek grapes in the bramble bush,
seize the elders’ dreams, rush onward.
End of poem. 
Credits and bio: Copyright © Meg Freer

Previously published in Love Lies Bleeding—A Canadian Poetry Anthology, compiled by George Elliott Clarke, Beret Days Press (Ontario Poetry Society), 2021. 
Meg Freer grew up in Missoula, Montana and studied musicology in Minnesota and New Jersey, where she also worked in scholarly book publishing. She now teaches piano, takes photos and enjoys the outdoors year-round in Kingston, Ontario. She holds a Graduate Certificate with Distinction in Creative Writing from Toronto’s Humber School for Writers, and her photos, poems and prose have been published in journals such as Ruminate, Vallum, Queen’s Quarterly, Borrowed Solace, Phoebe, Eastern Iowa Review, and Arc Poetry. She has written two poetry chapbooks: Serve the Sorrowing World with Joy, with Chantel Lavoie (Woodpecker Lane Press, 2020) and A Man of Integrity (Alien Buddha Press, 2022). Her poems have been shortlisted and have won awards in several contests in both the U.S. and Canada.