Feathers and Loaves of Bread
After job, after shopping, before home-
work, I sit in a circle of mothers, fingertips sweating
like spilled milk on a grocery store conveyor belt.
We jab needles into black marching band uniforms,
talk about our children. I say, My daughter
is a soprano ukulele, inside her mouth, she carries
sun and sticks. Another mother says, I hope this time
the judge orders a drug test so that father
can’t see his baby. A young percussionist
flaps a set of crash cymbals, his wings.
He is not Daedalus. His sun is the Son,
so his mother says. My daughter
wears herself in her skin, a gecko
that stings like nettles, art like blue frosting
on the white cake her friend left her:
“Sorry 4 Bein’ a Bitch.” Nights
when my daughter lives with her father,
I slip into bed. My gut is a small country,
the sheets are sweat, the air needles.
Out of a pile of pulled weeds in our yard,
a man grows, and inside God’s eye
is a sparrow, gentle like a bowl.
The only reason I ever sleep.
Elizabeth Juden Christy’s poetry appeared alongside artwork by E. Jane Williams (2011) and Tim Morbitzer (2010) as part of the German Village Arts League’s juried art and poetry exhibition, The Language of Art (Columbus, Ohio). In June 2013, she was one of twenty-one auditioned poets to read on the Columbus Arts Festival’s Word is Art Stage. She lives in Zanesville, Ohio, where she works as a freelance editor.