“After He Left” by Jeanie Tomasko

Jeanie Tomasko


When the children were small and sleeping,
the night warm and raining,

I would go out to a place under the broken
eaves. Naked, yes. And standing under,

wash my hair with rain and the dark of night.
I could hear cars on the other side

of the duplex. I could smell the sheets
upstairs. I still couldn’t touch anything

labeled future. Lonely in the rain,
the spirit is beautiful. It can marry

the heart for no one to see. Like I said,
I washed my hair under the broken rain,

and stood there in the night, glistening.

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


[download audio]

Jeanie Tomasko: “I write poetry so that I can meet with my poetry group, ‘Garlic,’ drink coffee, and talk about everything but our poems for almost two hours until someone says, ‘Did anyone bring anything?’ I guess because poetry is life. I was a single parent for a few years after finally leaving what should have been left much earlier. This poem is about the healing. I still thank God for that broken eavestrough and my sweet kids and my husband who gently healed us all.”

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