Poems & Essays

18 Feb

Prayer for Good Mothering

Toddlers to Teens No Response

I ask for one full day of presence.
when I can dote on her every word
and plea, follow her whimsy
where it leads. No distractions
like phones or bills or errands or chores.
no drifting thoughts about my next
meeting, deadline or creative impulse.

Confidence and faith
that work, in all its infinite forms,
will get done eventually, and well.
This person that I am
and have known for over
thirty-nine years will not
fizzle into oblivion
if I do, in fact, sit on the worn
woven, multi-colored kitchen rug
for hours to build block
kingdoms, roll cars along floor
lines, delight in hiding and finding
the same small figurines.

She shrieks with joy
as we explore the newly
mowed lawn, investigate
freshly turned beds of soil
in the garden. I, too, smile
as the spring sun strikes
my face and warms me
in a new and profound way.

 

 

 

 

Jessica Gigot is a poet, teacher and farmer in the Skagit Valley of Washington. She owns and operates a small farm called Harmony Fields where she grows organic herbs and raises sheep. She is also the mother to two, young girls, June and Eloise.

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18 Feb

Sweet Darling

Taking Flight One Response

There are fifty flat dollars
Girl, go ahead and take them all
Buy whatever you want at the Japanese convenience store
Rice crackers and seaweed
Soda pop flavored with yuzu

Pack it up and take it with you
All of those years in a roller-bag filled with
Identical black t-shirts
From our concerted years
I have no useful advice for you
Unless you want a how-to on getting
Me to well up well enough

There’s a bullet train leaving for Osaka
And you know it only stops in the station
Like a snapshot, then it’s a blur of a ride
And you will interview the train for a wonderful job
The job that I used to have
Of containing you.

 

 

Jill Bronfman is a professor, poet, parent, non-profit worker, activist, and lawyer. She has performed her work at Poets in the Parks and LitQuake.

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18 Feb

L’Oreal #754 Sugar Plum

Taking Flight No Response

Sugar Plum flutters like the tipsy dowager
with cellophane skin and a faux fox stole
gathering feathered lines around her mouth
as she puckers, recalling her beau’s kisses
under the vestibule stairs, the vision
of that long ago Ash Wednesday fading.
But here, at my counter, in the tilt of my mirror,
she sees wool plaid skirts rolled up at the waist,
knees gangly and pointed, black and white
saddle oxfords already coming unlaced.

 

 

 

Anne Yale is the author of Liturgy of Small Feathers. Her poetry has appeared in Chaparral, Blue Print Review, Zócalo Public Square, and California Quarterly. She is founder and editor-in-chief of Yak Press, and originator of the Native Blossoms Chapbook Series. Although she’s been a resident of the Mojave Desert for over twenty-five years, she still claims she’s “just passing through.”

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18 Feb

Rainschool

Toddlers to Teens No Response

In the season of rain
Of damp, dank morning
Walking to school
Iron brazier in hand
Woolly-hatted children carry the hot embers
Iron kettles held away from their legs
Coals inside nursed through the day
Cold, lift the lid and blow white ash away from the red heart
Rain pounds the roof
Wind pressing hard green avocados through the shutters
Oneplusoneistwoplustwoisthree
Home time never soon enough

 

  

 

Clementine Ewokolo Burnley writes essays, fiction and poetry, works as an organiser in communities of colour, and meditates. Her work has appeared in journals such as Versal, losslit, die Neue Rundschau, Bristol Short Story Prize, the Emma Press, Paragon Magazine, and in the Feminist Wire. You can find her on Twitter at @decolonialheart

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