Poem of the Week

Meanwhile,

Jim Moore

as if I knew no better,

I walked out into the world, hoping

for the best. My gray river was shining

the way it does when rain wants to fall.

Meanwhile, the work on the bridge

goes on and on. Unending brokenness. Even so,

the red-winged blackbirds keep insisting

spring is here. They live in the river weeds

and don't know a thing about giving up. Near her end

my mother called out to birds that weren't there.

I do not understand why I must still be here,

a man said, one room down from my mother. His body

had been placed on a scale, as if being weighed

might make a difference. In her last days, my mother

mistook passing clouds for birds: of all

the mistakes I had known her to make

that last one was the most beautiful. Meanwhile,

those birds flew back into the clouds

as easily as life flies back into death.

Jim Moore is a poet living in Minneapolis and Spoleto, Italy with his wife, the photographer JoAnn Verburg. His books include Prognosis.
Originally published:
May 4, 2022

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