Please come down and live with us. My daughter wants a simple playmate. My son wants help with his math. You will have to try one bite of roasted squash at dinner, but then we will give you the easiest chores: meal planning and sweeping up crumbs. If, that first night, you are homesick for sky, my daughter will comb your hair. We will not eat you or wash you or spend you or exhaust you. Then you can lift the sadness from what I’ve touched. We will not make you scrub your luminous footprints. We will not speak of those who are missing or the anger that rises up in me each night. We will let you sleep.
Kathleen McGookey is the author of Whatever Shines (White Pine Press) and October Again (Burnside Review Press), and the translator of French poet Georges Godeau’s book We’ll See (Parlor Press). Her chapbook Mended (Kattywompus Press) and her book At the Zoo (White Pine Press) are forthcoming.