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Ordinary Morning

No more flags and banners!

No more of my endless good ideas!

In the hall of acquisitions the goods are readied.

In the walled rooms of learning the papers

are exchanged, the talk goes on

among drawn faces of young students.

In an ordinary February, what could happen?

I can imagine hunger, quavery

emptiness of nothing to eat and not knowing when.

Cut off, amputated in a cold basement with no news,

sharp static, a green transistor radio.

O mother and father I prematurely grieved,

where are you now that I need to lose you?

Ordinary mornings we rose and ate together,

dressed and went out into the world.

Phantom mother, your face a red and purple scrape,

your hat askew and your left ear bleeding,

in the back seat of a stranger’s car.This thing

had happened: they found you sitting

on a stone wall where you had rolled away

from the car’s tires, brought you

first to me and I did not know you.

In a glare of hospital lights, they took

my blood and gave it to you.What can happen

had happened, and our lives went limp and small.

How can I speak about this?

A flat sky, gray yet almost stunning

against heavy snow and a red sun rising.

I feel a cold that will

not stop, sound that has overrun

all meaning. Already the fires are close,

and the fields are burning.

from Dear AllFind more by Maggie Anderson at the library

Copyright © 2017 Maggie Anderson
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.

Published in Maggie Anderson Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.