Bio: Dorinda Wegener’s poems have appeared in many journals, including The Antioch Review, Indiana Review, Hotel Amerika, THRUSH, Berkeley Poetry Review, Ethel, and Hinchas de Posia, as well as anthologized within Poet Showcase: an Anthology of New Hampshire Poets (Hobblebush Books) and Lingering in the Margins: A River City Poets Anthology (Chop Suey Books). Wegener is a co-founder of Trio House Press. She currently resides in Richmond, where she works as a cardiac telemetry nurse.
It is the ninth day of summer
rain, gray, the humidity high as the turkey tailladdering up the hardwood. There are crepuscular rays: a quick dartof gold finch, the yellow inchworm scaling the fibrous stalk of tansy while green June bugsbuzz iridescent infinity-loopsabove the deer tongue grass. Cicadas change rhythm in the tulip treeswhen the wet breeze lifts leaves to flashsilver blades; all day you mistook strangers’ faces for someone you knew—that joyous current, buoyant, then the abruptrecognition of your mistake, the fact of the matter being: the personyou love and miss is still dead.
Mother, it would be your birthday in thirteen days,
a baker’s cliché followed in weeks by the crepemyrtle’s explosion of father’s own fading. Today I am assessing the parts of the sum—I have noticed my own weakened epiglottis, the chronicthroat clearing, the increase in choking on fluid and foods, words thick as silence.How does one learn to speak again? Mother, my tonguefurrowed and coated, couched against the hard palate since your quiver and fib—atrial and pacemakercleared, clotting coagulation cleared, your handsplotting yourself. Even in sleep you’re still a myth maker. I am questioning all the time.Could my childhood asthma have beena congenital heart anomaly? The elevated liver enzymes your old drink? Fat depositeddeep within fetal lobules, an inheritancefrom father’s orphaned genome? Who knows, but the clock’s dry watch—a stilled life in June