May 6, 2014

Barbara Louise Ungar


I get letters for the dead. They blow
out of the mailbox and into the snow.

I find them encrusted in drifts
or rippled and faded in spring,

addressed to an old man
I loved. Phillip,

lover of horses, I’m sorry
she ploughed your garden under.

I would have tended it.
Every envelope with your name

I rip open (forbidden
and uncanny) I hope

bears the message
you are somewhere—

I would forward them.

from Rattle #41, Fall 2013
Tribute to Single Parent Poets

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Barbara Louise Ungar has published three books of poetry: Thrift, before motherhood; The Origin of the Milky Way, about motherhood; and Charlotte Brontë, You Ruined My Life, about becoming a single mother. She is a professor of English at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York, where she teaches literature and writing.