The world hums because it’s moving
and the contrivances and arc of artifice hum
because they are alive.
The man fixing the furnace
hums because he is mortal
and his old age will be hindered
by the devotion of his children.
The spider working in the basement hums
because a secret keeps her awake.
Upstairs someone hums
her fevered lover to sleep,
stroking his matted hair,
taping the gauze over his wound.
Samn Stockwell has published in Agni, Ploughshares, and the New Yorker, among others. Her two books, Theater of Animals and Recital, won the National Poetry Series and the Editor’s Prize at Elixir, respectively. Recent poems are in Poet-Lore, The Literary Review, and forthcoming in Gargoyle, Plume, and others. She has an M.F.A. from Warren Wilson College and has taught poetry and English at the New England Young Writer’s Conference, and Community College of Vermont.