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Thursday, April 09, 2020


by Susan Vespoli

Maybe I’m hoarding Molly
while on lockdown, luminescent
in her fourth year around the sun.

People gasp and ask,
you’re still seeing your granddaughter?
like it’s a crime,

and I want to hide her behind my skirts,
she who chalks cement
with hearts, water-paints rocks,

watches youtube
compilations of Snoopy laughing
and never tires of tossing

the rubber bone for my ecstatic dog.
I turn off daily death counts on the news
to watch her in the field of brilliant

poppies that sprang up in my front yard.
She who bends to sniff and pluck
and count the bees,

then runs after bugs
she wants to keep as pets:
crane flies and beetles,

a fat khaki grasshopper
wriggling between index finger
and her thumb

as I the buzz-kill cry,
Not in the house! It’s a living being 
that needs its family. Let it go,

and so, she does: opens pincer grip
as the insect soars
across the yard in an arc.

Susan Vespoli is a poet/essay who lives in Phoenix, AZ. Her work has been published in spots such NVN, Rattle, Nailed Magazine, Mom Egg Review, and Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse.