Allen Forrest © 2017 All Rights Reserved

Weligama Mama

O my children, the ant has a boulder in its mouth.
White, pale Weligama ant rushes with a chunk of potato chip
That fell yesterday from fingers or mouths or laps.

It can’t wait to put it into its ant nest.
I was like that once—moving rapidly—
Taking food home, bearing the weight.

Because an ant is a lever, its body a physics,
The weight of the crumb is nothing to it.
That’s how I was,

O, children, I was nothing
Compared to the weight.



If she were alive, I’d telephone.
She at her window,
I at mine,
as snow falls aslant.

She at her window,
headlights sweeping out the old year
as snow falls aslant.
Into my hands rushes her voice

again, as headlights sweep out the old year,
I hear her, “Come right now!”
Into my hands rushes her voice
the night he died. There was an ice storm.

I hear her, “Come now!”
Nothing could be done. I waited
the night my brother died. Ice storm.
Couldn’t survive.

Could we be done? Wait.
At dawn I drove to the city
he couldn’t survive
and found her shaken, aghast.

Dawn, I drove to the city,
she was alone at last,
shaken, aghast,
she was at last mine.

She was alone,
a diffused mine,
at last she was mine,
an excavated mine.

If she were alive today, I’d call.
we’d watch snow fall,
headlights sweeping out the old year.

Abigail Wender
Copyright © 2017  

Abigail Wender has been published by the Cortland Review, Epiphany, Guernica/a magazine of art and politics, Kenyon Review Online, the Massachusetts Review, New Orleans Review, and the New Haven Review. She is a graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA Program in Writing, and is currently working on a manuscript and a novel in translation.

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