Poems & Essays

20 Nov

Judo Match

General/Column No Response

My sons are almost evenly matched:
one bigger and stronger, the other more agile.
The older throws the younger and I
don’t know whether to cheer or to flinch.
Then both are down on the mat, sliding along
each other’s torsos like tectonic plates. They lock
and struggle in silence like the sun and the moon
in eclipse. They scramble at each other’s centers
like bees on a hive. My husband, whose body
they were not sieved from, thinks wrestling is good
for our boys. Sensei, observing my face, advises,
Watch the ocean pound the sand, then retreat,
sand still firm, ocean still roiling.
But the shoreline has shifted, I object.
Sensei smiles. You are, he says, the shoreline, and bows.



Jessica Goodfellow’s books are Whiteout (University of Alaska Press, 2017), Mendeleev’s Mandala (2015) and The Insomniac’s Weather Report (2014). Her work has appeared in Best New Poets, Verse Daily, Motionpoems, and on NPR’s The Writer’s Almanac. She has had work in Threepenny Review, Beloit Poetry Review, The Southern Review, and elsewhere.

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