At Squire Point
I remember I have a child, vaguely
He wears a raincoat, tiny pine trees on his sailor shoesI will have to give him away, very slowly
when winter comes. First one night a week, and then two.Stars on one ceiling: fishes on anotherPapa is asleep, I say.
I will always want to touch you, I said when he left me.It won’t happen all at once, he said.First the closets of his winter coats. I braced myself.
It’s a million little things: his skin, the tongues of his shoesI should have never given birth. I feel a color
he left in my stomach when I am alone, a shovel markAt quiet hour, I hear his papa and I talking before he was born
Our childless voices, our love over the waterBut these woods are made of dry paper;
I was right; I could not give birth without losingNow he asks if I will be his mama
for all of the timeIf those are leaves falling down off my orange shirt. God,what blankets will I choose for his second bed. Are the trees
against the windows safe.Once I lost my glove in a city. Somehow it matters then
that I was in love and this had never happened.
Copyright © 2019 by Julia Anna Morrison
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Julia Anna Morrison is a Pushcart-nominated poet from Alpharetta, Georgia. She has an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a BA in English from the University of Georgia. She is a 2014 Nightboat Books Poetry Prize finalist, a recipient of the Friedman Fellowship from the University of Iowa and a 2014 Yaddo Residency Fellow. Julia has taught creative writing at the University of Iowa, the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio, Iowa Summer Writing Festival, and to students through the Iowa Youth Writing Project. Currently she lives in Iowa City where she teaches Screenwriting at the University of Iowa and co-edits Two Peach with Catherine Pond.
Edited by faculty, students, and staff from the renowned writing and literature programs at the University of Iowa, The Iowa Review takes advantage of this rich environment for literary collaboration to create a worldwide conversation among those who read and write contemporary literature.
We publish a wide range of fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, translations, photography, and work in emerging forms by both established and emerging writers. Work from our pages has been consistently selected to appear in the anthologies Best American Essays, Best American Short Stories, Best American Poetry, The Pushcart Prize: Best of the Small Presses, and The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories.