Photo of My Son on His First Day of School

Death, why ride my son’s blurred wake as he boards the school bus, first time ever? Why haunt my smeared inscription on the back? I didn’t know to ask for a pose. I hate how you are everywhere at once. Everybody does, especially now, when the maples blaze like flames and we, poor things, admire them. Shouldn’t we know better? You’ve left behind your sock, your leatherwork glove, your shiny matchbox car. Years ago, I caressed an airmail letter for hours, my back against a warm stone wall. I was in Italy. My story was private then. I thought you’d never find me.



Kathleen McGookey’s work has appeared in journals including Crazyhorse, Denver Quarterly, Epoch, Field, Indiana Review, Ploughshares, The Prose Poem:  An International Journal, Prairie Schooner, Quarterly West, Rhino, Seneca Review, and West Branch.  Her book Heart in a Jar was published by White Pine Press in Spring 2017.  She has also published two other books of poems,  two chapbooks and a book of translations of French poet Georges Godeau’s prose poems.