Living Midair    poems by Karen June Olson April 2019

This Time Around

We walked white halls and gazed
in grace. In another medicated room,
a woman sang to a body that was curled
toward shadow. You choked and remembered
no hymns of comfort were sung
for your dead son, bare elegies given
over to a priest—what could he know
of a mother’s loss?

Another mob of complaints labored
between breaths so shallow words
were work for you to form:
the sheets are thin as skin,
those vinyl pillows,
and the certainty
of cold canned beans.

Through the window we saw
a cloudless night, nothing would stop
the stars from mapping the sky. People
departed. Cars passed on
going somewhere. For a brief moment
we imagined the leaving,
and then we saw the moon, the big white moon.

Copyright 2River. Please do not use or reproduce without permission.