Mary Makofske


She is a mouth gone dry, a walking thirst.
Sorting through the wreckage of the trash,
she pulls out one child’s sneaker, drops it
in her bag, careens across the lobby.
Here, as everywhere, she carries through
the crowd an island uninhabited
except for her. We ebb around it.
Suddenly she plunges in our shallows,
crying out, “My children!” And we like waves
fall back into ourselves. She spits, to take
the brackish taste away. Toothless, chewing
on the past, she rocks herself, but not
to sleep. She keeps her eyes on the horizon
as if a sail might bud and blossom.

Mary Makofske

is the author of Traction, which won the Richard Snyder Prize and was published by Ashland Poetry Press (2011). Her other books are Eating Nasturtiums, winner of a Flume Press chapbook competition, and The Disappearance of Gargoyles. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Mississippi Review, Poetry East, Louisville Review, Asheville Poetry Review, North American Review, Calyx, and other journals and anthologies. She lives in Warwick, New York.