In The New Year
My children scatter likes stones and all
of last year’s accumulated knowledge
is already useless. Extant is a passive way
of saying we exist. Once I lost my car
in the airport parking lot. What is terminal
in Nature? What is the nature of illness?
You can bear a burden or bare your soul
with all the same letters, but arrangement
is everything. My mother knew about flowers,
how to bash their stems with the butt of a knife
to keep them drinking. Warm water is more
enticing to most people, though hot springs
in Kentucky offer bliss in winter. Even ignorance
isn’t enough to keep the buffaloes in Turkey
from wading in up to their elbows. Something
about milk and later cheese, all reported by an eye-
witness. Words like baby get lost in translation
as if there’s nothing left to say
when all we set out to do was heal old wounds. Not
new ones, that would be insane. I see the mystical
mammal in you. I bow down. I roll around. Impatient.
The oldest woman is now one hundred and
nineteen years old. When asked how she managed
to live so long, she said: Family is so important.
Originally published in MER 21
Crystal Karlberg is a Library Assistant at her local public library and a speaker for Greater Boston PFLAG.