Saturday, June 11, 2016

Holding Patterns

The pattern of the bathroom tile 
resembles the blanket 
you wrapped around your dollies 
when they took ill.
Martha, your favorite, had chicken pox
until the red crayon spots you inflicted on her
flaked off and faded away. 
You swaddled her tightly
and rocked her back and forth, 
singing your hush-a-byes.  
Her eyes frozen open.  
Her plastic body  
holding the heat of your folded arms.
You now understand 
how you rehearsed your futility
from such an early age. 

The cat can no longer stand.
She’s dying, the way old house cats do:
tongue paper dry, skin and fur 
sagging from the bone.
She’s chosen to curl up
next to the cool porcelain toilet base.
You bring her canned tuna 
and a water dish 
and swaddle her in your bathrobe.  
Her paws no longer holding heat
in your folded arms. 


  1. This is one of the most memorable poems I've read on the blogs. The transition from girl to woman, the use of the second person to describe behaviour so close to one's own.. It is heart-breaking without sentiment - no mean feat.

    1. Thanks Kerry, your feedback has made me rethink the potential of this piece. I have made some slight edits and changed the title. I may pull this one down soon so that I can submit it to some magazines/journals!