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Shannon Hardwick: a poem

Mid-to-Late Motherhood

In this instant, geese fly away

from the palm of my domed sky

on the way to somewhere warmer.

For months, the sun shrouded

in shadow in the garden. I slept & dreamt

& I let go of my body, of what to expect,

as only a mother can. Above the roofs of many

houses, I once wanted

to claim a whole village. In my youth,

evenings arrived as a proposal

of marriage in perfect light.

In a kitchen cupboard, I hid each lie

I told myself – time is perpetual persimmons

on a walk in Central Park. It never snows.

What happened won't happen

again. You won't double yourself,

return with a child in a field,

break up a flock & collect a body

only to bury it

again. Then again.

Shannon Hardwick's work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in Magma Poetry, Gulf Coast Journal, The Texas Observer, The Missouri Review, Four Way Review, Harpur Palate, Sixth Finch, and Passages North, among others.


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