“You Are My Sunshine”

by C. Ann Kodra

When her daughter visits, Birdie cannot recover
the word for spoon. Her eyes dart to and fro,
trying to settle on any strand of logic.
Lemon sunlight stripes the hospital bed,
and morning chases off the lulling blues

that drifted down like snow
during the night. Slow, easy dreams
—a wedding beside a pond—sink while
the rough truth of another day
rises, and a skein of wool suddenly

stretches toward Birdie’s fingertips.
Knit into her most basic nature is the urge
to let happiness needle its way into the hours.
But lately that is too much like finding
the word for spoon.

Something more than this troubling
struggle is needed to make letters
behave. How about I sing to you, Mom,
her daughter says, each syllable
a measure of hope on her tongue.

Birdie listens for moments, and then
her voice joins and purls a brilliant yellow
sound, a joy in the shape of not needing
to know anything but this old song.
Each note pure, she doesn’t drop a word.

C. ANN KODRA works as an independent editor in Knoxville, TN. She is a former registered nurse and teacher. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in various journals and anthologies, including Blueline, Common Ground Review, drafthorse, Peacock Journal, Prime Mincer, Roanoke Review, RHINO, Still: The Journal, The Saranac Review, Yemassee, and others. She is a contributing editor for New Millennium Writings and an associate editor for MSI Press (California). Medulla Press published her chapbook, Thin Ice, in 2011. Her first full poetry collection, Under an Adirondack Moon, was published by Iris Press in 2017. More at: cathy-kodra.com.

Photo: “Spooning” by Si Wilson