The Shoebox

Poet: 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.