“Sunday” by January Gill O’Neil

January Gill O’Neil


You are the start of the week
or the end of it, and according
to The Beatles you creep in
like a nun. You’re the second
full day the kids have been
away with their father, the second
full day of an empty house.
Sunday, I’ve missed you. I’ve been
sitting in the backyard with a glass
of Pinot waiting for your arrival.
Did you know the first Sweet 100s
are turning red in the garden,
but the lettuce has grown
too bitter to eat. I am looking
up at the bluest sky I have ever seen,
cerulean blue, a heaven sky
no one would believe I was under.
You are my witness. No day
is promised. You are absolution.
You are my unwritten to-do list,
my dishes in the sink, my brownie
breakfast, my braless day.

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


January Gill O’Neil: “When I was an undergrad at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, my creative writing teacher, Toi Derricotte, played a cassette recording of Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl,’ and I was blown away. Didn’t think you could do or say such things in a poem. It’s taken me 25 years, a few moves, a marriage, a divorce, and two kids, but I have finally shaped a kind of life in which my (poetic) vision matches my values. By the way, my two kids, ages nine and seven, can recite Gwendolyn Brooks’ ‘We Real Cool’ with emphasis on the ‘we.’ It is real cool.”

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