Kathryn de Lancellotti
Kathryn de Lancellotti is a Pushcart Prize nominee and a former recipient of the Cowell Press Poetry Prize and the George Hitchcock Memorial Poetry Prize. Her poems and other works have appeared in Chicago Quarterly Press Review, Catamaran Literary Reader, The American Journal of Poetry, Quarterly West, Cultural Weekly, Rust + Moth, and others. Kathryn resides in Harmony, California, with her family.
A DAUGHTER'S GRIEF
Aren’t we all looking for a way out of the owl’s talons?
A way not to remember
the honeybee’s sting, the shape of a boot on your back,
all the nights your breasts would leak, a child,
the sucking, the screaming.
Aren’t we all looking for a way not to remember
the poems that cry us to sleep, the little ghosts
we carry in our hands, dare we tell?
Forget the Ativan, the razor, your car in Little River.
You wrote in blood, and for your sacrifice, I thank you,
dear Poetess, dear Mother, you took care of your children
the best you could. I’ve heard the stories.
You’d swear no gas seeped through the door.
You’d swear you sealed worlds between us.
THAT STAR, RIGHT THERE
A mother punches a wall
until her knuckles bleed,
sticks her face
into a pillow and screams.
She looks at her son
and thinks love is so lonely,
at any moment he could be gone.
A mother prays death
will take her,
then begs forgiveness.
She couldn’t leave her boy here,
Once a year
his father sends an email,
pours guilt like gasoline down her throat.
She’ll never know.
Maybe it’s that winter is fated,
or is it the milk-white chill in the air?
But when a child asks, where’s my dad?
Sometimes a mother points up
to the night. Sometimes a mother lies.