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 tail
laddering up the hardwood.
There are crepuscular rays: a quick dart
of gold finch, the yellow inch
worm scaling the fibrous stalk
of tansy while green June bugs
buzz iridescent infinity-loops
above the deer tongue grass. Cicadas
change rhythm in the tulip trees
when the wet breeze lifts leaves to flash
silver blades; all day you mistook
strangers’ faces for someone you knew—
that joyous current, buoyant, then the abrupt
recognition of your mistake, the fact
of the matter being: the person
you love and miss is still dead.
Mother, it would be your birthday in thirteen days,
a baker’s cliché followed in weeks by the crepe
myrtle’s explosion of father’s own fading.
Today I am assessing the parts of the sum—
I have noticed my own weakened epiglottis, the chronic
throat clearing, the increase in choking on fluid
and foods, words thick as silence.
How does one learn to speak again? Mother, my tongue
furrowed and coated, couched against the hard
palate since your quiver and fib—atrial and pacemaker
cleared, clotting coagulation cleared, your hands
plotting yourself. Even in sleep you’re still a myth
maker. I am questioning all the time.
Could my childhood asthma have been
a congenital heart anomaly? The elevated
liver enzymes your old drink? Fat deposited
deep within fetal lobules, an inheritance
from father’s orphaned genome? Who
knows, but the clock’s dry watch
—a stilled life in June