Hold him on your back. Hold him
the way you were shown: one long piece
of cloth, its oranges and blues swirling against
each other like competitors. It will feel
like he is falling. Find someone to tie it
tight. Hold him
as if you are strong. As if he won’t
cry across the whole ocean.
Hold his memories for him:
Hold her hair and her arms, her
colorful clothes, the smile
which is his now. Hold
her bones, the startling
goodbye of them. Hold for him
his country. Hold its sticky heat,
its kind women at your shoulder.
Hold the relentless rain. Cup it as the
wide leaves do, bending with fullness
to the ground. Remember what he needs,
the way you thought you knew. Remember
these simple thoughts. Hold him
as if he needs you and give all of this to him,
here in a room with its steady breeze
Jennifer Manthey is an MFA student at Hamline University in St Paul, MN. She also serves on the editorial board of the Water-Stone Review. She lives with her husband and three children in Minneapolis.
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June 4, 2016 at 6:34 pm
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