Catherine Zickgraf


Image 1 by McCollum

Your bones once oared an ocean, son,
then you were lured away and born.
I relinquished you, chose it, sworn and recorded.
There is joy for some, while others mourn.

You are your parents’ orange orchard,
their garden of corn, an ordained reward.
For though they birthed their first two kids,
They lost them before you were born.

We’re all fighting storms inside us.
I knew I couldn’t calm the waves,
so your parents brought you home to harbor.

It hurt me hard to let you go. Hurt got us here:
behind some front door, I was broken by four,
a ward of the walls, begging breath from the floor.

Still glory keeps gathering in the east.
The mornings form as joy-birds soar.

I left you alone to explore your own sea.
You sought instead the origin of ocean—
And grown now, you often row back to me.


About the writer:
Catherine Zickgraf performed her poetry in Madrid, San Juan, and three dozen other cities. Her work has appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Pank, Victorian Violet Press and The Grief Diaries. Her recent chapbook, Soul Full of Eye, is published through Aldrich Press.

Image: Image 1 by Susan McCollum. Mixed media/collage. No size specified. By February 2018. By permission.