I or maybe we are still shopping to get
this all into the cupboards—like a bone
for that good dog we never had then—
or into the oven—like a house of ginger—
now, like then, to make everything
then eat it all until it’s gone—cakes warm
in the basket for the wolf, cookies
and drinks on a table of Eat Me, lentils
and nuts for lost siblings going somewhere,
or an apple so ripe it couldn’t choke.
Is it wrong to still need—her hands
on those brand-new unopened bags
with extra food stamps and cash left over
for days ahead, so much to choose to eat—her?
It must be wrong to want to call her Mom,
Mommie Dearest, or Mother. Just call.
Give these dogs a fish bone or a beanstalk.
Follow these bread crumbs to our flat screen TV
where no one watches she’s sick can’t be
reached by phone or email but Oprah still talks,
You can have it all. Just not all at once.
Laura Madeline Wiseman
Laura Madeline Wiseman is the author of 26 books and chapbooks, include Some Fatal Effects of Curiosity and Disobedience (Lavender Ink), twice nominated for the Elgin Award. Her poetry has appeared in Strange Horizons, Abyss & Apex, Red Rose Review, Star*Line, Silver Blade, and elsewhere. Her latest book is Through a Certain Forest (BlazeVOX [books] 2017).
Artwork: Doug Shoemaker, Paper Bags I