There Are Days
this cage without bars
this rut you are wearing into sidewalks
how you can’t buy passage anywhere
and haven’t packed properly for staying in place
none of it makes sense in the old way
and yet there are days when you remember the unmoored mind of summer as good, and the river’s endurance through drought and flood, on its banks the wild asters returning to bloom again
ragged and dug in.
after Czeslaw Milosz, “Encounter”
The child stands on the green sofa so she can see
out the window. The front door clicks shut.
The mother, in her everyday dress, clutches her purse
and walks to the corner where the bus will come.
The child’s hand touches the impenetrable glass.
Today neither of them can be sure
where the mother went for those few hours alone.
Whether this might have been the day
the child first understood how things would be –
that from the deep pool of family waters
abandonment could surface at any time and,
though the mother returned, drown the swimmer.
Marg Walker pursues her abiding interest in the human voice through poetry and music. Her poems have appeared in Minnesota Monthly, Tishman Review, Wilderness House Review, Red Wolf Journal, and other publications. Marg co-hosts the Midstream Reading Series, a monthly live poetry reading series in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota. Her first full-length poetry collection, Sitting in Lawn Chairs After a Complicated Day, was published by Nodin Press in February, 2020.