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Three Poems

blackbirds baked in a pie

my mother always sang
to me and everyone
so heartbreaking

what rain does to snow (no chance of going on
its own terms) the year

she died, we were buried prematurely
but those last days unrelenting

snow wasted away
and she –

in thirteen ways, she receded

into the bed
as i remember it

my childhood: snow boots, linoleum

gray culverts in spring that collect
water and tadpoles

not all grow legs before
they dry up in the low
end of a ditch


a small smudge of bodies
clogs the drain


Diving Horse

My boys ask so much
of me: Do you believe
in ghosts? Were you
and Daddy in love? If you were
an animal, which one?

A horse, I say.

All three agree
plain old horse is boring,
think themselves more
exotic: tiger, giraffe,
dragon, which one says
doesn’t count.


Does not.


Entwined in the ongoing
argument, its threads like a web,
I become a fly
trapped in the room,
like a daughter
tethered to her dying
mother’s bed

as she prepares for this
great leap. She is
no ordinary horse.



Exactly 299,792,458 Meters Per Second

On the screen, shadows and bones. My son’s
right arm. Radius in two. Displaced. Separated.
In the ER bed, he curls around the misshapen
limb, his skeleton a tiny crescent. Someone’s
cranium is projected on the wall in another
room, glaring at us just like the full moon does.
Has it been a skull up above all along? And was
anyone cradling that child until he found his mother?
These questions haunt us, but there is within a secret
glow, exposed by x-ray like a telescope aimed down at
night sky. I don’t know where luminosity comes
from, but I’ve watched a brilliant mechanism
heal the body. Brightness fuses to brightness. Beams
reach for one another across the space between.


Carolee Bennett is an artist and poet living in Upstate New York, where she has fun saying she has been the “almost” poet laureate of Smitty’s Tavern. She has an MFA in creative writing (poetry) from Ashland University in Ohio and works full-time as a writer in social media marketing.