Saturday, 16 November 2019

To Ask a Question Does Not Mean You Get an Answer

by Dianna MacKinnon Henning

All winter I remained with the dead, a white haired
old woman, knuckles big
as thick dollops of honey. Asked
my name by a nurse’s aide, I couldn’t
remember, but instead recalled
a river my lover and I once swam. The Winooski,
I answered making the aide
wrinkle his nose. I fished
for a flower from my gown. The dead

are in rehearsal, I told his half
shut eye. That’s when he hustled
to fetch a doctor. Someone’s

seasoned with a spritely nature,
I told myself. Floodgates opened. The observation
room swayed with seaweed. If anyone

asks, I’m swimming across the ocean
to Bethlehem. I want to hear the sermon on the Mount, or
at least touch Mary Magdalene’s hem.

* * * * *

"To Ask a Question Does Not Mean You Get an Answer" was first published in Sequestrum (2019).

Dianna MacKinnon Henning has work published in The Moth, Ireland; Sukoon, Volume 5; Mojave River Review; The New Verse News; Hawaii Pacific Review; Sequestrum; South Dakota Review; Naugatuck River Review; Lullwater Review; The Kentucky Review; Blue Fifth Review; The Main Street Rag; Clackamas Literary Review; 22 wagons by Danijela Trajković, Istok Akademia, an anthology of contemporary Anglophone poetry; California Quarterly; Poetry International and Fugue. Three-time Pushcart nominee. New work due out 2019 in New American Writing, The Kerf. Henning taught through California Poets in the Schools, received several CAC grants and taught poetry workshops through the William James Association’s Prison Arts Program. Henning’s third poetry book Cathedral of the Hand was published 2016 by Finishing Line Press.

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