by Leah Stenson


Mother, I wrote a poem in which I forgave
your sin of omission, your fear of the truth.
I know I forgave you because in a dream
you were my destination. I got into a taxi
with a box of long-stem roses
in the middle of the night not knowing
where to find you but confident I would.
The driver knew the route by heart and
I had already paid the karmic fare.
A week later, you phoned from the grave
saying you wanted to come visit me.
Never in life had we spoken so kindly,
so gently to one another.
Not even death is permanent.
As the author of my life
I can forgive you, resurrect you,
cast you in a new light.

LEAH STENSON is the author of two chapbooks, Heavenly Body and The Turquoise Bee and Other Love Poems (Finishing Line Press: 2011 and 2014, respectively); a regional editor of Alive at the Center: Contemporary Poems from the Pacific Northwest (Ooligan Press, 2013) and co-editor of Reverberations from Fukushima (Inkwater Press, 2014) which was awarded finalist status in the category of Social Change in the USA Best Book Awards and first place for Poetry in the Pacific Rim Book Festival.. Her full-length book of poetry Everywhere I Find Myself was published by Turning Point in December 2017. She serves on the board of Tavern Books. Please see

Photo: “Resplendent Vapor” by Justin Kern