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,

bruising gravity:

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

then opening

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.

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