On Earth

If the dead don’t know how on earth to live,
How on earth can the living? Mistakes stack
Up like nights. We get in over our heads
Whether or not we truly love the ones
We’re with. No one asks to be dropped
Into the glass like this. We do not rehearse
Our deliveries yet are delivered nonetheless
Into these thin-skinned vessels we call
The Self in which we love and lose and love
Again, and must trust the stars are fixed
In the ether despite our first fevers, our mothers
Either wringing their hands through the night
Or trusting our illness burns brightly, yes,
But nowhere near as bright as us.


Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum is an award-winning author, editor, ghostwriter, activist, and meanderer. He is also Acquisitions Editor for Upper Rubber Boot Books, Founder and Editor of PoemoftheWeek.com, Founder and Editor of The Floodgate Poetry Series, and professor of creative writing at Colorado Community College.