Kate Hadfield 


a volcano doesn’t care.  a body is only an ant to a volcano.

they ran.  they ran toward the city gates.

they ran like outside those gates the sky would become blue,

like if they didn’t stumble, the volcano would close its mouth.

the television says the ash air turned lungs to cement.

breathing was so heavy it pulled them down

into corners and

underneath staircases.  cement lungs.

the shot zooms in to the cast of a child, toddler at most,

rolled two feet from its mother on its back, 

two legs, two arms pedaling 

toward the sky like a beetle.

the cast mother shields her own face,

not even a finger pulling toward her child.

I am judging the cast of a 2,000 year old woman 

with cement lungs and ashy hair.

I am sitting on a leather couch 

wearing socks with hedgehogs stitched on them

thinking this Greek woman with her olive skin should have done more.

her lungs were cement and I have decided 

she should have thrown her body over her child’s.  

her eyes were burning with ash and I have decided

she should have turned her head toward her baby.   

was it ok that I whispered to the tv?  ok that I apologized to a screen?

it was the closest I could get.


Kate Hadfield is a writer, choreographer, dancer and Kentuckian recently transplanted to Boca Raton, Florida. Hadfield was accepted into The Twenty, worked with the Kentucky Women Writers Conference, and has read alongside Maurice Manning as a featured reader at Holler Poets Series. Outside of Hadfield's writing life, she is the Artistic Director of Movement Continuum, played a leading role in Bianca Spriggs' short film Waterbody, and is a member of the Sisters Provocateur. In Florida, Hadfield spends ample time looking at the ocean and remembering the Appalachians.


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