Caitlin Thomson is the co-founder of The Poetry Marathon, an international writing event. Her work has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals including: The Adroit Journal, Rust + Moth, Barrow Street Journal, and Killer Verse. You can learn more about her writing at http://www.caitlinthomson.com.
Life Story With Night
The sky I inherited does not
reveal the stars my ancestors
traveled across the ocean by.
Now we have satellites to guide
our phone signals instead. Planes
that make their way, wings blinking
red, from one continent to another
in the time of sleep. But it is the
streetlights, flashlights, and
headlights that make the night
seem manageable to us, our ability
to navigate it, misunderstood as control.
Before our daughter was born, my husband used to
joke about birthdays being escapee day, the day
the child would free itself from the prison of womb.
When I woke in labor, I woke my husband too.
I didn’t tell him that I loved him, that I was in labor,
instead I said It is eviction day. And he looked at
me, eyes still half open, confused. He glanced around
the room as if someone else was there, a man in a suit perhaps.
But I could feel it strongly, the room inside me compacting
in on our daughter, forcing the her that was content
and safe, out into this world. The world that
two years later, I have a hard time explaining to her.
The Year of Rain
Lately, I have wished that life offered up more mysteries —
not the violent type, nothing involving death, a missing person, or pills.
But a mask would be all right. I would accept any flowers
that arrived alive and unannounced on the office porch.
Although something stranger appeals to me more, like a chicken
that glows, my dog suddenly knowing three words of Spanish,
anything to fight the monotony of rain,
the clinging cobwebs of the damp.