Poetry Spotlight: Jessica Wood

Graphic by Maya Robitaille-Lopez

Prayer to Saint Anthony

my dad sent a package to me that I never received. maybe it got lost, maybe he sent it to a thief. 

I call my mom and mention it, and I don’t know what I am hoping she’ll say. she sighs his name on the phone, like it was his fault. a heavy sigh, knocks the wind out of me. 

like it was his fault.

somehow it reminds her to tell me—one lost thing leads to another, in her mind— the tree in my backyard fell yesterday. 

everyone is fine. 

my cat’s old aching bones can climb the branches once more– they fell down to the earth to meet her, they missed her enough to come kiss her hello. 

the hot tub, where I dug my wrinkling, boiled fingertips into my palms for so many evenings, and so many years, is still intact.

the gazebo, where I slept in the summers, covered in beach towels and spiders, where cigarette butts steeped like tea in jars full of rainwater, is only banged up a little bit. 

the old tree, arm choked by a rope swing tourniquet, is plunged into the earth below. grave and grave marker. branch become root. 

it was the wind that did it. a heavy sigh knocked it over, knocks the wind out of me. I sigh, my breath echoes in the phone call feedback loop, my aching lungs passed down from my mom. she sighs back. 

like it was his fault.

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