Ekphrastic Response to “Southeastern Louisiana” by Beth Aala
The space where something is:
her mother, watching the kids play
or making Thanksgiving dinner
just to feed the giblets to the dogs
who ordinarily get a firm No over
table food. Her mother, perched
near the computer, a managing
sort of matriarch, drinking Tab.
It’s a firm place to stand, the space
where a thing is where it belongs,
like land, like breathing, like being
above water and seeing the sky.
The space where something isn’t:
all of those. Also, the Kohl’s card,
the Facebook account, the phone,
and her mother’s bed, now hosting
relatives who visit the old house
her parents occupied so faithfully
all the years of their marriage.
While it’s possible to stand there,
in the space where a thing isn’t
anymore, it’s more like sinking, like
wishing, like wading out waist deep
to touch the bamboo poles marking
so many places people once lived.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 18, Issue 4.
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