The 2River View 22.3 (Spring 2018)

Sally Van Doren


I left Black Creek to come
here to distance myself
from the magnolia leaves
pressing themselves against
my south-facing windows. I
sought to distinguish myself,
the self desperate for the
dithyramb, the self opening
and closing the door to the cellar
in my doll-house on wheels.
My mother had painted the doors
blue and the stucco walls yellow.
I was not inclined to flock
to the forever she followed,
but I brought her flowers
yesterday, yellow daffodils
to fill her crystal vases.

Mildred’s Granddaughter

This is a poem about
a woman who lived
forever. She lived through
years of poetry readings.
She lived through many
presidencies. She
lived through the births
of her sons and
grandsons. She never
stopped for death
and ate when and
whatever she wanted.
She lost track of
time sometimes,
but it never caught
up to her. The motivating
principle of her life
resembled a mass of
hyacinths levitating
over the house next
door. The neighbors
invited her in and
offered her tea
in every season.
She drank it to
warm her heart,
to flush out the
memories of those
who would not love her.

Sally Van Doren, a poet and artist, is the author of three poetry collections, Promise (LSU Press 2017), Possessive (2012) and Sex at Noon Taxes (2008), which received the Walt Whitman Award from the Academy of American poets. She lives in New York and St. Louis and posts daily excerpts from her ongoing poem, The Sense Series, via Instagram.

<< Rebecca Starks   Justin Hyde >>
Copyright 2River. Please do not use or reproduce without permission.