At midnight I flick the porchlight
and catch a possum in the flood,
three babies clinging to her back,
moon-eyed. At birth they’re small
as honeybees. Did you know that?
Thirteen to a teaspoon begins
their odyssey swimming the
mainland of belly to pouch. But
this isn’t a poem about a possum,
or about seeing that possum spooked
in my apple tree, or about peering
over the edge of death, glass
fragments of sad old story pricking
the raw-edged soles of my feet.
It’s not about my daughter staring
up from my breast, gulping, or
the thousand ways I’ve seen her die
in the three years she’s been alive.
It’s the rest of it – the biannual
scrubbing of the outdoor windows,
that porch at dusk with dry Riesling
in a chilled glass, listening to cicadas
with a hand on my knee, watching her
string up paper flowers and feeling
the graze of light sunburn.
Jaclyn Desforges is a writer, editor and writing workshop facilitator. Her poetry has been featured in Peregrine and is forthcoming in Minola Review. Her nonfiction work has appeared in Today's Parent, Homemakers, Fresh Juice, Mind Body Green, Introvert, Dear and other publications. Jaclyn is working towards her MFA in creative writing at the University of British Columbia. Visit her site here.