I watered the plants. I plucked their dead leaves. I fed the children and dog. I asked the coffee to raise spirits. I made no beds. I made an inadequate donation to a parentless child, survivor of the car wreck that killed my friends. I paid with my thumbprint. I sent another friend money who sent another friend flowers to celebrate a new baby. I pressed C to confirm my vaccination appointment. I wrote STOP to free myself of Black Friday promotions. I paired small socks. I pulled fine hairs off hairbands. I took all the care that’s never seen. I remembered what I know about a mother’s worth, best estimated in her absence. I drank again the draught of orphan’s wisdom. I shook out my raincoat and collected bay leaves from one neighbor, tulip bulbs from another. They bobbed in my tote as I kept walking and walking the dog in a downpour. I caught a familiar chill. From the bath, I texted with childhood friends. I texted my brothers the news and we all sent up prayers. I called Seattle City Light to report a downed line. I called the pediatric nurse and said I was someone’s mom. I called God a prick and asked why do I quarrel with a void, a vacancy and a vacuum? Because they are the holy trinity and my catechism was the small one, impossible to be rid of, like glitter.
Constance Hansen’s poetry and reviews have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Harvard Review Online, Southern Humanities Review, River Mouth Review, Volume Poetry, EcoTheo Review, and Moist Poetry Journal. She is the Assistant Managing Editor of Poetry Northwest and a contributing writer at Currently. She lives in Seattle with her family, where she teaches poetry at the Hugo House. Photo credit: Jenny Jimenez
Tuesday, 12 April 2022