Jo Shoemaker

I.

They wake to loud alarms

tie their shoes, affix their charms…

 

So proud are they, so quick, so smart

In logic, mathematics, art

 

They cannot spare one glance above

To chart the flight of mourning dove.

 

II.

The sublime

 

Is bounteous yet too obscure

And they, consuming time and, thus, allure

 

Shout and stamp their feet, ensnare

The air they cannot bear to share.

 

III.

I’ve only ever told the Sun

I’ve only ever told the Sun

 

My bees are falling through

My fingers.  My fish all brew

 

In murky waste and oil

 

With fireworks, balloons, and lead

they tumble down and join the bed

 

Of toys my children leave behind

I needn’t look twelve feet to find

 

Their dishes, napkins, soda cans

Their Jaguars and minivans –

 

The crashed car parts, a wooden cross

The stones arrayed, acres of loss.

 

IV.

My children eat and shoot and leave

With tear-stained cheeks, they pull my sleeve.

 

I hold them tight and wind up again each squall

I am their Mother after all.


Jo is a senior creative writing major at Ithaca College. She writes poetry and dramatic fiction reflecting social relations and environmental issues. This is her first publication.