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I need her like I need the falseness
of my own voice explaining death to a toddler.
Soon they’ll adorn her altar

with the golden tongues of crocuses,
and she’ll speak to me in the falseness of my own voice:

You’ll never be alone.
Always someone else is speaking
and for some while I’m speaking now too:

Your jacket, sweetie and
Time for supper and

Well I really don’t know…

In my father’s abandoned garden
untidy green rows are pushing up
soil that smells of thaw.

The rhubarb’s crenellated red heart.



Lisa Raatikainen is a writer, poet, and music teacher whose poetry has appeared in Five South, Whale Road Review, Moist Poetry Journal, 3 Elements Review, and elsewhere.




Photo by kaori nohara on Unsplash

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