Tina Kelley’s poetry has, along with the sacred, some pique, and a spit-in-the-eye-of-death- humor. Motherhood, sketched liberally in anecdotes, is never platitudinous. These poems are a mix of seriousness and wit you’ll want to read without interruption. What I like best is the natural speech quality to these well-made poems. It’s as if you’re across the kitchen table listening to someone who’s sharing her “well warming world” with personality and intelligence.
The notes sound sad and whole, a cream of tone.
The foghorn stops but the sun does not come out.
Everything’s always next, and nothing’s now.
“Did his heart fall asleep?” Kate asks about Grampa.
Who knew I’d feel so sad to feed you, baby boy,
to watch carrots drip from rubbery spoon and mouth,
stain the bunny shirt? And to go back to work
with this sweetness barely tasted? Wave bye-bye.
Later on from someone else you’ll learn forks and clapping.
I feel the worldwide weight of dust settling on the sea.
We discover our loved ones over again, backwards.
The slipknot Dad tied on balloons, absent, ruined July 4th.
The buckeyes he’d hand me every walk, emptied the fall.
He won’t know this child as much as I’d like. Neither will I.
courtesy of Washington Independent