Sometimes Women

For Susan, who frames spun mud and grass pulled from tiller tines and says they are like the way we spin and spin into certain things, making them tighter

Sometimes, after our babies die and the grief wraps around
every small dying thing, women feed worms to fallen baby birds
that won’t thrive, and, sobbing, smash their skulls with a garden rock
under the neighbor’s lilac. I couldn’t save you, we cry, and bury them there
because we’ve already buried so many in our own borders.

Sometimes, women must tell their fourteen year old daughters
we no longer love their fathers, and the girls wear pennies in their shoes
to heal the broken wing of the thing, but we leave anyway, and find
or become love, while their fathers wonder what went wrong and weep.
The daughters decide not to keep the pennies.

Sometimes, when the peppermint reaches too far beyond borders, choking
the thyme we have planted, women pull it, then poison it, against
our better judgment, and still it returns like spring. We eat of it
when there is nothing else, search for the acrid chemical on our tongues,
wonder if we have also poisoned ourselves.

Women share these things over creamy coffee, or peppermint tea,
and our liquid sorrow lifts from us, sometimes, like steam.


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