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A Daughter’s Grief


Aren’t we all looking for a way out of the owl’s talons?
A way not to remember
the honeybee’s sting, the shape of a boot on your back,
all the nights your breasts would leak, a child,
the sucking, the screaming.
Aren’t we all looking for a way not to remember 
the poems that cry us to sleep, the little ghosts
we carry in our hands, dare we tell?
Forget the Ativan, the razor, your car in Little River.
You wrote in blood, and for your sacrifice, I thank you,
dear Poetess, dear Mother, you took care of your children
the best you could. I’ve heard the stories.

You’d swear no gas seeped through the door.
You’d swear you sealed worlds between us.

                                                                        —Kathryn de Lancellotti

Kathryn de Lancellotti is a Pushcart Prize nominee, and a former recipient of the Cowell Press Poetry Prize and the George Hitchcock Memorial Poetry Prize. Her poems and other works have appeared in Chicago Quarterly Press Review, Catamaran Literary Reader, The American Journal of Poetry, The Bind, Porter Gulch Review, Cultural Weekly and others. Kathryn resides in Cayucos, California with her son, Jade.