Tim Vrtiska CC
Maybe It’s the Cicadas
So, she’s up and hit you again.
Her fractured brain sparked
by some random directive, or maybe
it’s the cicadas. She throws her
phone, the one in the protective case
that can’t protect you from its blow.
You turn, tired now. You know tears
only incite more rage, so you stare up
at the trees. Ancient maples gathering
the breeze, cooling the clouds. You raise
your face, pray for something to unravel this
heat. This sorrow that boils beneath, engulfs
a whole day. Not sorrow. Anger. Dig
deeper. Fear. Deeper. This molten
sense of failure that consumes
your ribcaged heart when all you want
to do is love her back into
herself and let her go.
We Long to Name
your muscled misery,
your panicked pain. Ghosts
edging the stone walls we’ve built
to keep you safe and healing. We dim
the world for your shattered brain.
Fractaled sunlight, bright colours, sharp
sounds. Our ambiguous grief. We hold
it all in. Leave the rest out. Crack
an opening to test the elements.
Reckless derecho drowns
your dreams. My salty tears
number the losses, unnamed,
we have been holding for you. Still
you rise. Tumbled, stumbling,
Looking for those open
arms that say: It’s alright.
You’re here. You belong.
she’s a full-blown tragedy but lives
her life like a dream while I plump
the clouds around her as she floats.
I am mother. Full of hope, wind. Blowing,
blowing so her sails are full. Each stone
thrown, picked up and mined for a vein
of gold or a prism. Others hidden away.
The stones will come, I say. The boulders too.
But this is how you sail. Look
here are the sirens. Here the earplugs. Let me
tie you to the mast. This will pass. The seas
are full of mythic creatures—scaled, exhaling
fire. But it’s her own breath that burns
the bindings, those that tie her
to the world. She floats
Nancy Huggett is a settler descendant who writes, lives, and caregives in Ottawa, Canada on the unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg people. Thanks to Firefly Creative, Merritt Writers, and not-the-rodeo poets, she has work out/forthcoming in Citron Review, Literary Mama, The Forge, Prairie Fire, The New Quarterly, and Waterwheel Review.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.