Sunday 17 May 2020

Speak 2

by Catherine Arra

    for Linda

She reminds me who I was, finds me
in the tumult of divorce from the man
I thought I knew, not as well as I know her, the girl
who once sidled up to me¾high school teenagers
at a library table and said,

            “What are you reading?”


            “Tell me everything you know about that.”

Brash girl, stranger
sat down uninvited, challenged what I knew,
asked me to say it.
How dare she pull me out, expect me to, but I did,

and now he’s leaving after 20 years.
Legalese served as tepid as last night’s meal,
not saying, telling, why, how, or who.

Singed by his iciness I never thought for me,
his indifference to grief clamoring up and down stairs
to tether an unbridled will to leave.

Raw, unrivaled, the paralyzing sting
of abandonment avalanches, until she calls
from 1,500 miles away and says,

            “Tell me everything you know about that.”

* * * * *

"Speak 2" is from Catherine Arra's poetry collection (Women in Parentheses) (Kelsay Books, 2019)

Catherine Arra is the author of (Women in Parentheses) (Kelsay Books, 2019), Writing in the Ether (Dos Madres Press, 2018), and three chapbooks. Her poetry and prose have appeared in numerous journals online and in print, and in several anthologies. Forthcoming in 2020 from Finishing Line Press is a new chapbook, Her Landscape, Poems Based on the Life of Mileva Marić Einstein. Arra is a native of the Hudson Valley in upstate New York, where she teaches part-time and facilitates local writing groups. Find her at

1 comment:

  1. Soul sister v. "abandonment avalanches." Too true not to be true.