Skip to content

Souls became the perfect distraction. We had to keep

their gowns clean. We had to buff their moods.

But some of us were wounded in a way that made our days

need crutches. We were invalids in the pale hospital hours

of our kitchens. No one had warned us that our children

would leave and we were bereft, holding up the bedclothes

of their childhood and breathing deep the pink lambs

of their voice. We had no choice but to seal the poets' trap

of sugared words and meet at the ocean. Bravely, we tried

reciting them without sounding desperate. That our souls

were grazing on the hill behind us no longer mattered.

We wanted to lure our wandering children home.

The words we used had the thin syrup of our loneliness

in their veins. In this way, we learned that words also have souls,

and when the souls of our words escaped, there was a glitter

frosting the ocean, and briefly, we had managed to sugar its tide.

Thirty-Eight

Sue Goyette

More from
Poem of the Week

Michael Palmer

So