of a wasp appear from layersof lace in your wedding dress.It has just enough zest leftto sting like old vows and brokenpromises. That same day you aredeep into spring cleaning yourdaughter brings home
I prefer crowds with voices echoingup and down the train cars, city bus gears singing stop hereexhaust spewing, laughs rolling to the page—boots, heels, sneakers step on and off the curb,
My mother is a social worker who works in a hospitalshe makes daily visits checks her chartsshares small talk with the patientsas she brightens up their rooms
When you were three years old, I knocked on the men’s room door,and, taking your hand, opened the door cautiously.
I’d never been in a men’s room before.Urinal against the wall, a small white cake
Beneath the butcher-wrap paperlay Formica of gray with black flecks,and after my mother and her side-kick
So tell your story, each version more distantand yet … still fresh, never finished.
No matter whether death was suddenor a gradual decline,
You need to remind the mind over and over againto come back to quiet,
to the dark hollows of where words and no wordsare found, like hunting morels in a forest.
As my mother tells it,when the Great Warcame my Great-GrandmotherGuarneschella lied. Datesare relative. Domenicowouldn’t be 16. Wouldn’t beconscripted. Didn’t matter.
The election happened and now you’re driving north.November freezes in the birch trees. The fieldshave nothing left. In Wisconsin where you pass themthe hills go rolling autumn through the cold.
Wisconsin Academy Administrative Offices and Steenbock Gallery
1922 University Avenue
Madison, Wisconsin 53726
James Watrous Gallery of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters
3rd Floor, Overture Center for the Arts
201 State Street
Madison, WI 53703