by Mallory Nygard
the dishes the cots the blankets the rugs the fig tree the well the dinners the sun Are these not enough, dear Lord? Am I? Don’t you care that I am the only one pulling my weight, keeping this ship alight on its path? Don’t you care that since my brother died, the food and the cloth (the sheets we used as children stripped to wrap his sores in the memory of safety), the blood and the myrrh (after our sister used her allotment on you), have all come from my hands (though they shake from the weight they carry alone)? My sister can’t sleep nor wallow nor weep. She eats when I make her, but mostly she shrieks at the thought that this all could have been different if you had just cared enough to come. But, Lord, please I am asking you still to come Come back to our home, it’s empty without the way that you fill silence with stories and answers with “will”. Come back to his grave and bless it with us. I am waiting to see him again on the day the earth ends and this all goes away, but you would you come sooner? Come back and hold my sister’s hand; she needs you. I will be fine, but my sister needs you to wipe her tears. My hands are full with the dregs of his life.
Mallory Nygard lives and writes in East Tennessee. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Relief: A Journal of Art and Faith, North Dakota Quarterly, Ekstasis, Amethyst Review, Pigeon Parade Quarterly, and Ever Eden Literary Journal. Her poem “Song of Sarajevo” was named Best in Show at the 2021 Rehumanize International Create | Encounter. Her first collection of poetry, Pelican, was released in 2021.