by Beth Gordon
(Blanket) (Configuration) Template
Favorite toy unknown: only one hour
older than the blanket of smaller blankets
sewn together. Nothing broken revealed
in the ultrasound: the imperfect heart
shaped shadow dismissed by technicians. Bring
her rattle to the coroner’s office.
Wind the musical motor of the stuffed panda.
Endangered in each configuration, trilling songs with undiscovered origin.
Say something about object permanence.
The way her eyes could not see raspberry—
colored squares. Her mother’s face a ghost
carried into the waiting parallel.
(Snapdragon) (Rotation) Template
Consider meditation to connect
the unmothered voice to the unmothered
wolf: the field lined with snapdragons & clover will not soften your news.
Exchange the word beloved for a hammer and two nails.
Pluck a pine box from the forest.
Rheumatoid arthritis in your morning
mirror: comb your hair and prepare for visitors & vegetarian casseroles.
The door will open without your hospitality to broadcast the glut of Christmas
Rotation is not an option.
Tomato garden. Asparagus crop.
Current location unknown.
Beth Gordon is a poet, mother and grandmother currently living in Asheville, NC. Her poetry has been published in The Citron Review, Passages North, RHINO, EcoTheo Review, Into the Void, Pidgeonholes, SWWIM, Pithead Chapel, and others. Her full-length poetry collection, This Small Machine of Prayer, is forthcoming from Kelsay Books in July 2021 and her chapbook, The Water Cycle, is forthcoming from Variant Literature in November 2021. She is Managing Editor of Feral: A Journal of Poetry and Art, Assistant Editor of Animal Heart Press, and Grandma of Femme Salve Books. Twitter and Instagram @bethgordonpoet