Cathexis Northwest Press

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our mother attempts suicide in September

For a year, all I remember is this:


Throwing a ball for my dog at dusk, watching her leap deer-like through the snowdrifts I’ve

left unshoveled


          past the abandoned hive of that summer’s bees, long-since curled into their wax cells

          — succumbed to starvation,


          over the ridge that drops down to the railroad tracks, completely out of my sight


Counting the ensuing silence like I’d count claps of thunder                                            until she

reappeared between the trees — red coat wet and trembling, her eyes almost the same color

as mine,


          and then the sound of her breathing 

          and of the train 

          and of my sister’s voice collapsing back into her throat when I picked up the phone 

Tiffany L. Thomas is a poet from lower Alabama, currently living and studying in Alaska's interior. She is a freelance editor of science manuscripts, a volunteer ELL tutor, and, presumably, a poet. She is a recipient of the Richard S. Lynch Writing Award and the Catholic Poetry Society Award.