If you see me, weep

If you see me, weep
Jordan E. McNeil

for I am not a harbinger of good fortune
or hope, I am harbinger of dust & dirt
hunger & stone

decades of decades have passed
& yet here still I stand
see how your ancestors have marked me,
etched upon my side a record of hardship,
decades of dust & dirt

wenn du mich siehst, dann weine

let your tears replenish the river
return the waterflow for the ships, the fish,
the farms, let your sorrow turn
the tide, turn the tourists from me
& face them forward to a future

of blue, of water, of cool

if you see me, weep
& when you’re finished, stand tall, reach
toward the heavens, clench the clouds
in your fist
& bring the rain


Inspired by “hunger stones” found in the Elbe River, reported by NPR on August 24, 2018


Jordan E. McNeil writes fairytales, rages at videogames, and takes selfies with goats. Her work can be found (or is forthcoming) at Willow: Women in Lit Lifting Other Women, Curating Alexandria, The Arcanist, and Arsenika. She can be found on Twitter, @Je_McNeil.