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.