Poems & Essays

03 Jun


General/Column 2 Responses

for Kashala

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

coming in.


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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  1. Jessica Latham

    June 4, 2016 at 6:34 pm


  2. Kelly Van Zandt

    October 8, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    Beautiful poem


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