Daughter Songs by Joanne Clarkson

I remember an evening thirty years
ago, three of us standing on a footbridge
when my daughter was one.  She
in a stroller.  My mother, eight months past
cancer.  Me leaning over the railing watching
tracks of abandoned trains almost
touch, disappear into a seldom-used

journey. This March, I push my granddaughter
in her little red car down the road to a pasture.
My daughter is talking about plans
for a studio, ever the graceful
dreamer.  At the fence I lift the little one

who holds out clover. Three horses graze.  One
raises his head and trots over. There is always motion
to a horse. I never thought it mattered
what happens after I die.  I am startled now
by my passion for futures. Yellow teeth

pull at green luck. She squeals with laughter.  I
glance down the fence line, white rails
neatly spaced, narrowing toward a farmhouse,
becoming distance, becoming one.

Joanne M. Clarkson is a poet from Olympia, Washington. Her poetry manuscript, “The Fates,” won Bright Hill Press’s annual book contest and will be published later this spring. Recently her poems have appeared in Catamaran Literary Reader, Edge, Emrys Journal, Midwest Quarterly and Pinyon Poetry. She’s on the board of the Olympia Poetry Network. See more at Http://JoanneClarkson.com.