Poems About Current Events

On Telling My Nine-Year-Old Daughter that Hillary Won’t Be President

The fall of her face,
a snuffing, like
the last of daylight
slipping off
a mountainside,
a shadow rising up
from the cooling
ground.

That’s sad,
she says, while
I try to hold
my fear away
from her, casting
it carefully
behind me
like a rotten thing.

Disquiet pools
in her eyes, then
she says to me,
Mom, I think
there are a lot
of people out there
who don’t think
women are as good
as men.

And that’s when
it happens. My heart
cleaves inside
my chest, like one
of those chocolate
holiday oranges
you smack
until they split
and disassemble.

Honey, I say,
that’s true. Then
I gather the shards
up within me,
press them against
her body, her heart,
the longing uplift
of her chin. Honey,
I say, it’s up to us
to prove them
wrong.

And she nods,
and she slides
into the morning,
walking away
from me into
the daylight,
and I catch
my tears
with my fingers,
fling them
out into the world
that’s failed her,
then stoke
my sorrow
roundly
until it flames.

 

First published in MockingHeart Review
September, 2017

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