Lifeboat in the Apocalypse
I haven’t always wanted to be
in the same boat with them
but when the time comes, I hope
there’ll be room for me in that lifeboat
loaded deep with my siblings and other kin,
those who can do stuff:
my sisters who’ve fed multitudes
from their gardens, cooked every
family holiday dinner,
and my brother who’s built homes,
fixed cars. I’ll bet he can even start
a campfire without matches.
So today, when one of my sisters
What can you do in the apocalypse?
I said, I’ll tell the tale around the fire
of how we survived,
like we did in that long ago story
of a mother and her children
adrift upon a raft.
I’ll remember everything.
This time, I’ll write it all down.
The News of Your Death
The news of your death
arrived like a runaway horse.
Pulling back on the reins
didn’t help at all.
Grabbing handfuls of mane,
still I slid,
thumping the adamant earth.
the horse galloped free,
empty stirrups flapping,
back to the shadowed stall.
Pawing the grass for my glasses
with sudden knowing,
all breath bolted away.
The Gift of a Green Scarf
Evening after winter evening
I knitted and purled a green wool scarf
for a boyfriend who, not knowing
it was intended for him,
remarked, “Awful color.”
Night after night it grew,
spilling onto the floor,
longer than he was tall,
finally so long I wound it around
and around my own neck, over my ears,
my lips and nose.
That winter and every brutal blizzard
after, how that wool warmed me,
shielded my breath
from the icepack that formed
over my mouth,
how it matched my eyes,
that gift I made for myself.