Lisa Folkmire – World View

Lisa Folkmire

World View

We weren’t lovers at all

             when he asked me if I would

ever have children and I told him

                                              I didn’t think I was
                                              necessarily maternal
                                                                       like most women my age
                                                            assume they are. He said

                                                                     that it probably wasn’t an
                                                                     environmentally sound
                                                                                 choice to have children
                                                                                           anyway as he turned his

                                                                                   face away from me and
                                                         over to the zoo’s new polar
                                                                                   bear as she pushed her
                                                                                   head up through the water

                         and tried to drown a plastic
                                     barrel with her big paws.

That summer the air
           conditioned bear aquarium
           was under construction

                                        it was not such a
                                        coincidence that
                                        it was the hottest

                                                                Michigan summer the zoo
                                                                             had lately seen. Sometimes

                      I forget the force of
negativity. I want you
                          to know that I am trying
                          to reach out, but I am

afraid of what might

come back.

                                     It’s like the nights when we
                                                were together and I didn’t care and as you
                                                             would reach closer and closer
                                                             I would call out louder and louder,
                                                             days before I was yelled at
                                                             for yelling in
                                                                                       my own messy

                      Even the sound of
                                 people eating gets to me
                                                          these days. The gab-smacking

sound of saliva on tongue on

teeth like a kiss when

the teeth accidentally

                                                    I want you to
                                                                 know that I am tired
                                                                              and concerned and I

miss the happy days,

                                   whiskey at my side,

           fingers tracing old library

                                               books, feet toeing closer

                                               to the river, the ripples

                                                                       of brook trout reaching out

                                 a hint of the animal pleasure
                                 I can’t let out in daylight.

I want you to know

                         that I am trying very
                                     hard to remain positive.

The polar bear in summer,
                                     pushing the barrel under
water, waiting for it to come

                                      back up.

                                      A surprise

                                      and then a disappointment.


Lisa Folkmire is a poet and legal technical writer from Warren, Michigan. She holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts where she studied poetry. Her poems have appeared in many journals, including Up the Staircase Quarterly, Barren Magazine, Glass, Gravel, and Occulum. She also has work forthcoming in Okay Donkey.

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