“I’m Sad with You” by Jackleen Holton

Jackleen Holton


my daughter says
when I remind her
she won’t be watching TV
today, and I nod and say
I’m a little sad, too,
about the tantrum
at the grocery store.
I woke up sad, but I don’t
tell her that, don’t say I’m sad
with her daddy for not listening,
just like my mother never listened—
my mother whose sadness
I only just realized
wasn’t my own.
So I know my daughter
won’t understand how I’m sad
for my country, sad
with news, and the fish
I had to flush,
sad with the way endings
just show up, bright and orange
as the living thing, though tilted
to one side, still
and sad, black bubble
of an eye
on the water line.

from Poets Respond


Jackleen Holton: “For me, this was the saddest week yet in our nation’s recent history, mainly owing to the continuing crisis on the Southern border, and infant internment camps, or ‘tender age’ facilities. While the family separation policy has been reversed by the administration that created it, the fate of many parents and children remain in the balance.” (web)

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