more than being a grown-up, more than knowing
if there’s a God. The new forest is called
sorrowful. Instead of eagles,
sympathy cards land in the tall pines. All the robins
have come down with fevers, sore throats.
We never thought it could happen,
but the sweet gum went sour. You ask
how I keep going. I’m not going
anywhere, I say,
but we have new neighbors, and they coo.
Still I can stare for hours at clouds;
today one sneers
like Seuss’s Grinch. I think I hate ghosts
more than my childhood. Maybe
my mother might say
what the Stellar’s Jay just said: no, no no!
Maybe if she were transformed
into a jay she would talk
much less about tornados, much more
about her bleached daisy
Biscuits, muffins, wheelbarrow cake.
She used to cover for my crazy
father, tell me not to judge.
Instead of eagles, a chorus of questions,
a quagmire choir. You ask how
I keep going. I don’t.
Martha Silano has authored five poetry collections, including Gravity Assist (2019) and The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception (2011), both from Saturnalia Books. She is also co-author of The Daily Poet: Day-by-Day Prompts for Your Writing Practice (Two Sylvias Press 2013). Martha teaches at Bellevue College and Seattle’s Hugo House.