Going Under


She checks the gas stove every time
That she goes out; crosses herself
In heavy traffic. Writing rhyme,
She counts the syllables. The shelf

Above her table — there she saves
Two photos, plates, a silver spoon.
The flotsam from deep tidal waves
Of memory wash in, and soon

Some fruit, spooned in her best utensil,
Flavors her life with childhood calm,
Evoking ancient tastes. Her pencil
Must be sharp, the bending palm

Be watered. Time is pressing her,
Distressing her; she’s drowning here.
As peaceful life holds out its lure,
Her nose goes under, breathing fear.

The Space Between