Hope Jordan

Depth Finders Up the Ying Yang


Depth finders up the ying yang

my mother complains

about her boyfriend’s fishing boat –

too much technology. She feeds me


blueberry pancakes made with Bisquick

which I eschew in my own kitchen,

but the truth is, hers are better

and I eat them, though my belly’s


leaden with foreboding.

She sits in her room with her dog

on her lap, breathing

into an apparatus meant to mitigate


a lifetime of cigarettes she just

can’t quit for good. Outside, a cottontail

grazes beneath her bird feeders.

Down the road a doe and her fawn wander


together through the yard

of a house abandoned years ago.

 

Licking Its Paws


It finished those years in the basement,

chewing all night on its skin.

Each autumn it chased cars

until it broke a leg.

In winter it chewed off the cast.

In spring it hunted, carrying

home prey – a deer haunch,

a chicken, a neighbor’s cat.

Once it herded a tiny

live duckling into the side

yard, a miracle I brought

to bed and in my innocence

crushed in my sleep. You don’t

deserve anything good,

ever, said the wolf who lived

in my heart, licking its paws.

 

North Salina Street


I turned away from the prayer circles.

I turned away from the grandmother with the parrot

named for her lover, the birdcage stench,

phone calls, bleeding in the streets

after dive bar fistfights. I turned away

from the faith that swelled her leg, the damaged ventricle,

the way her eyes burned blue and fanatical. I turned away

from the miracle, the long wait, the ritual bathing of her son’s

body. The dozen years. I turned away

from suffering. I turned away

from that version of god, North Salina Street, the pink

loveseat and the silent nurses’ aides.


 

Hope Jordan’s work appears most recently in Beloit Poetry Journal, Stone Canoe, and Blue Mountain Review. She grew up in Chittenango, NY, holds a dual BA from Syracuse & an MFA in Creative Writing from UMass Boston. She lives in NH, where she was the state’s first official poetry slam master. Her chapbook is The Day She Decided to Feed Crows.