“Call If You Need Me” by Sonia Greenfield

Sonia Greenfield


I can’t claim to know why,
but for me it was circumstantial—
hormone dump after miscarriage
plus my only child’s diagnosis

had my drunk face lit by a screen
detailing ways to jettison this failure
of a body. And because I could not
believe in God, I harbored no notion

I would still get to see that child
as a man, so here I am. It was that
and the instinct for preservation,
instinct to stay, o please stay. Don’t

say these are dark days, they are
no worse than windows of a copy store
plastered with missing person’s posters
that Christmas after 9/11, no sadder

than thousands of Teddy Bears sent
to Newtown. I think too much
already about how each day leaches
a little magic and how my son

won’t watch a video of lava rolling
down a hill because he’s afraid
to see people die when yesterday
he knew it only as a slow pour of fire.

For him, I will always stay longer.
I will climb hand-over-hand this
failed body up the side of a hill,
or I will hang a bird feeder.

And when the wren with the red head
comes to feed, I will ask myself
red like what? then try to come up
with something better than blood.

from Poets Respond
June 12, 2018


Sonia Greenfield: “It’s always a shock to hear of someone’s suicide—in this case, Bourdain’s. We always want to know why, as if some sort of knowing would make sense of it; however, suicide is such a deeply personal choice, and most deeply personal choices can’t be made sense of even with the people we’re close to. I know many of us have thought of it, which makes Bourdain’s death feel a little more intimate.” (web)

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