April 8, 2014

Janet Nippell

SWEATHEART

Her sweat has his fresh
cucumber smell
when she comes back after a run.

After the first shock
and the public expressions
she mourned quietly.

She says she has found living now,
in the present,
honors the past as it was.

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

[download audio]

__________

Janet Nippell: “Kate’s father died when she was sixteen. I was shocked the first time someone called me a widow. That I was now also a single parent dawned on me more gently one evening, in a feeling of respect and gratitude as Kate went off to the beach for a campout organized by the mother of one of her friends. I had always read poetry, and after Kate’s birth began to write poems for fun when they gelled and presented themselves to me. In a new way, ‘Sweatheart’ and other poems since Ben’s death have felt purely necessary. Poetry likes a good party but doesn’t desert you in times of need.”