Mercury Rising

1 of 13—
she knew only what they knew,
what they wanted to teach.
With grit,
they lived off the grid,
sewing thread rather
than wild oats,
quilting their lives,
one piece at a time,
canning their answers
for anyone who asked,
so no impure thing could
enter in,
but when the plagues of
whooping cough and polio
swept across them like
the dusty plains they were,
making them dead and lame,
like broken down cattle,
they were put out to pasture
amongst the others
who had done the same.