My Mother Calls from the Hospital To Say She’s Fine

Her old performance—how it seems so clear:
Lines sprawled across a script I didn’t read.
Love weltering like curtains, ceaseless and sheer,
While fog-grieved headlights drift along the road
Down to the cape. Tonight, her final year
Goes by in silence as waves rise and recede.

Our lives were woven from a single thread.

Hundreds of small decisions led me here,
None will bring her back. Snow glints on the pier.
The houselights rise, and now the end is near
Enough to touch—but what about the dead?

They never lingered long, standing like deer
Just past the saplings. Tell me what you need.

But she gathers roses on the stage instead.

Ashley Anna McHugh

Ashley Anna McHugh

Ashley Anna McHugh’s debut poetry collection, Into These Knots, was the 2010 winner of The New Criterion Poetry Prize. She was the 2009 winner of the Morton Marr Poetry Prize, and her poems have appeared in Nimrod, Measure, The Journal and The Hopkins Review, as well as in other publications.
Ashley Anna McHugh

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Author: Ashley Anna McHugh

Ashley Anna McHugh’s debut poetry collection, Into These Knots, was the 2010 winner of The New Criterion Poetry Prize. She was the 2009 winner of the Morton Marr Poetry Prize, and her poems have appeared in Nimrod, Measure, The Journal and The Hopkins Review, as well as in other publications.