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Her knees nearly buckle with the weight of a new star,
but oh the sweet relief when one of them falls or when
the sun pulls up its rays like rope ladders because light,
even light is too heavy for her to carry now. And look

at her loose grip on the baby’s stroller, as if any minute
she might let go. Other mothers’ eyes follow their children,
glisten like the wet clay of a newly fashioned Madonna,
but her expression never changes. She sees nothing but

the dull, brown jar where she spends her days alone, its
walls slick and impossible to climb, the lid screwed shut—
feels nothing but cold glass against her back, the tightening
in her chest when she tries to breathe what little air is left.



Copyright © 2011 Terri Kirby Erickson

Terri Kirby Erickson is the award-winning author of three collections of poetry, including Telling Tales of Dusk (Press 53, 2009), and In the Palms of Angels (Press 53, Spring, 2011). Her work has appeared in numerous literary journals, anthologies and other publications, including Eclectica, JAMA and Verse Daily, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Best of the Net award. For more information about her poetry, see http://terrikirbyerickson.wordpress.com.