On the way to Walgreens

Photo © Jane Dorn

This road, this sky, these errands kept me going last summer while my mother was dying. Just a two-lane road off the highway, it was the route I took to pick up the medications that hospice ordered for her. For the last two months of her life, I would stop the car, get out, take a photo with my phone each time the sky said HOPE.

 

Lost Tadpoles

 At first, I thought my mom had likely taken this photo. On second glance, it appears to have been taken from the height of a tadpole-baptizing girl or her slightly older, taller brother.

At first, I thought my mom had likely taken this photo. On second glance, it appears to have been taken from the height of a tadpole-baptizing girl or her slightly older, taller brother.

I saw Lynda Carter once,

(before she was Wonder Woman)
riding in the lead car
a convertible
in the Dothan, Alabama
Peanut Parade.

Dothan was full
of Christians
and tadpoles.

I tried to make Believers
of my creek-caught tadpoles,
saying to every damn one
I baptize you
in the name of
The Father
The Son
and The Holy Spirit.
Amen.
as i caught and moved them
(cupped in a creek-water-wrinkled paw)
from one Cool-Whip bowl of muddy water
to another.

But back to Lynda Carter
and how she rolled through that town
of lost tadpoles,
their small muddy evangelist
watching
and sure
for one moment
that she was

somewhere.

Dorn

 

Ever

TO THE FIVE OF THEM. THE FIVE OF YOU.

EVER  
by Meghan O'Rourke

Even now I can’t grasp “nothing” or “never.”
They’re unholdable, unglobable, no map to nothing.
Never? Never ever again to see you?
An error, I aver. You’re never nothing,
because nothing’s not a thing.
I know death is absolute, forever,
the guillotine-gutting-never to which we never say goodbye.
But even as I think “forever” it goes “ever”
and “ever” and “ever.” Ever after.
I’m a thing that keeps on thinking. So I never see you
is not a thing or think my mouth can ever. Aver:
You’re not “nothing.” But neither are you something.
Will I ever really get never?
You’re gone. Nothing, never—ever.