Around and around she goes
amid the dim lights of a December afternoon:
a turn on the merry-go-round
and round. It’s our girls' ride:
periods, births, then barrenness.
I watched my daughter fall
from the mall carousel today.
Her tiny hands released
from the sparkling silver pole
that pierced the horse’s crown,
and she was down on the mat,
a cruel reminder there is always an end.
I scooped her up, wiped her glittering tears,
they shimmered like stars,
I almost didn't want to wipe them away.
She screamed and screamed.
Was it disappointment?
How can I tell her
there will be no way to recover?
Virginia to New York, Again
If I can imagine home, is it endless?
I still think of my room as mine
and remember sleeping deeper there.
I still think of my parents as mine,
even though by the time I reach
the Mason Dixon Line I can’t recall their faces.
Experts say we can’t remember pain.
Trying to decide where my heart is,
I’m empty with miles marked
but never stopped.
Where is the proof of my passing?
Maybe in my hands, faint
with the smell of leather.
But even that’s temporary, vanishing
like the stone wall around the back yard,
my parents waving.
We used to be three like a wish.
In the dark, the sink waits patiently.
Its concave curves are the arches
of hands in hands and it holds
the soft pulse of a thumb
in its hollows. The sink’s voice
stretches rusty miles to a shore
where water is a source of light.
On the New Year
women and men toss
stones of sin:
hands cupped full
as if in prayer
with the flutter of a bird’s wing.
Welling water wants
only to return: its weight
is the burden of the sun.
* A ritual of throwing stones (as sins) into the water. This is a cleansing ceremony performed on the Jewish New Year.
Anina Robb is a 42 year old poet living in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with her husband and two neat kids. She earned an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, and she's published poems in Nebo, The White Pelican Review, Rivendell, The Red River Review, Blast Furnace, and Oatmeal and Poetry. In 2013 her poems will appear in the journals Juked, Emerge, Main Street Rag, The 5-2, and Ascent Aspirations.