The thing about a colleague whose child is dying
is she’s unreliable. You can track the child’s progress,
as they say, by cities of lost functions, ghost upon ghost.

The rest of us fasten on our desks, delighted
that this is not our headscarf
to wind about our emptied life.

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Samn Stockwell has been widely published, and her two books, Theater of Animals and Recital, won the National Poetry Series and the Editor’s Prize at Elixir, respectively. Recent work has appeared in Mudlark, Salamander and Spillway. She has an M.F.A. from Warren Wilson College.