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The Shoebox

Theresa Wyatt

God gift me a slingshot
for I’ve grown old curbing my aim –
sitting here by a passive lake recalling
my mother’s Sicilian voice – elevated,
piercing perfectly windless days
in summer with its sadness.
And what did I know
of sadness then?

How distance grew invisible
between a husband and wife – how
roads home were closed during storms –
silence sitting on top of the dinner table, heavy
as earthenware and dark as the asphalt stuck
on my father’s boots – how

he found a bird with a broken wing
in our driveway one day, placed it in a shoebox
& nursed it with water & bread – called me over
in a gentle voice to take a look, desperate
to show me he could save something.

Theresa Wyatt is a Western New York poet and the author of Hurled Into Gettysburg (BlazeVOX Books, 2018). Recent work appears in New Flash Fiction Review, New Micro (Norton), Spillway, The Ekphrastic Review, and is forthcoming in Pulse. Her poem, "Dementia," dedicated to her father, is archived through The Healing Muse Journal's Health Link on Air Program, Syracuse, NY.

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