Connie Wanek

When I push your button

you fly off the handle,

old skin and bones,

black bat wing.
We’re alike, you and I.

Both of us

resemble my mother,

so fierce in her advocacy
on behalf of

the most vulnerable child

who’ll catch his death

in this tempest.
Such a headwind!

Sometimes it requires

all my strength

just to end a line.
But when the wind is at

my back, we’re likely

to get carried away, and say

something we can never retract,
something saturated from the ribs

down, an old stony

word like ruin. You’re what roof

I have, frail thing,
you’re my argument

against the whole sky.

You’re the fundamental difference

between wet and dry.
From Rival Gardens: New and Selected Poems by Connie Wanek


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