Shortly before he was killed, my husband and I moved to a rattle-trap beach house on the peninsula in Long Beach. Going to sleep to the sound of the surf and waking to dolphins and pelicans sustained me through the almost unbearable grief. Making the place habitable gave me a task; writing gave me purpose. I am still here, loving the place, taking nothing for granted. www.donnahilbert.com
I am a young mother
so bored staying home
I agree to play Bridge
with my neighbors,
whom I suspect put up with me
to find a fourth to fill the table.
They are goddesses of domestic arts,
and between games hold forth
on finer points of decoupage, macramé
and the transformation of cans
Still I am smug,
for I have gifts of my own:
and gift of the phone,
which I demonstrate by chanting
Mother Mother Mother Dear
call me now while my friends are here,
and when the phone rings
they are believers.
Because I love an audience,
I tell them my dreams:
how I see trash cans burning
the night before they burst in flame
behind my house,
how Papa’s heart attack
awakens me from sleep.
How I knew the night before she labored
Jan’s baby boy would be born dead.
Now the neighbors play three-handed games—
keep their children indoors,
cross against the light
when they see me coming.
from The Green Season, World Parade Books
©2017 Donna Hilbert
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