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Sunday, December 16, 2012


by Rhiannon Thorne

"This evening, Michelle and I will do what I know every parent in America will do, which is hug our children a little tighter, and we'll tell them that we love them, and we'll remind each other how deeply we love one another. But there are families in Connecticut who cannot do that tonight . . ."

Next year I will wrap you presents
and you will not understand the need for bows,
but will reach towards them for days
in anticipation.

I will fret my wardrobe decision: do I dress you
for photographs or in a pattern that will hide
your smudgy fingerprints?  Or maybe the floral one
your grandmother, your father's mother,
will surely buy you to match her couch.

You'll have to wear it sometime, anyways,
to appease her.

You will laugh, pressing slobbered fingers
into sticky cake, and scowl at the flash while I sing you
Happy Birthday; whisper in your ear:
it was the happiest day of my life.

In Connecticut, a former mother will spend the week crying.
She will wonder what flowers
she should order for your birthday: White roses
or something with color?

She will sink down to her knees on a fresh wound
with well established grass.

I love you, she will say; it was the worst day
of my life.

Rhiannon Thorne’s work has appeared/is forthcoming in Gr@wl!x, Surreal Grotesque, The Legendary, Ditch, The Junk Lot Review, Vox Poetica, Zygote in my Coffee, e-Fiction, and Fried Chicken and Coffee. She also co-edits the online publication cahoodaloodaling.