Monday, October 26, 2020

New Poetry by Patricia Davis-Muffett


Last night, the dinner conversation turned
to all the ways you might have died so far:
chased by a baboon in Africa,
nearly falling off a cliff-face pursuing wild horses in Wyoming,
and the ways we cheated death together
on our honeymoon, the bear coming to us in darkness,
sniffing around our carelessness camp. 
At 23, we were so certain in our immortality.

The children were surprised
that I had almost died as well
before they were ideas
when they were just our cells--
the mountain stream that almost took me
down the Rockies, down 14,000 feet,
the wind that overtook us on that mountainside 
in Patagonia, when you kept me bound to earth.

What is not said:
the six months while the middle child grew,
trying to become a human person,
while you convulsed and shrieked,
as I waited in the ER lobby,
those long, bright nights,
when the head of neurology told us
you would either die or get better,
after long tormented testing.

Somehow, the sudden drama
of the cliff face,
the crocodile
the baboon
the wild horses
seems more fitting but also
less terrifying--
a death brought on 
by your lack of caution,
your wild love of wild life.
We all hope this is how you’ll go
suddenly, with drama
consumed in a moment
not nibbled into crumbs.

- © Patricia Davis-Muffett 2020

Patricia Davis-Muffett holds an MFA from the University of Minnesota and her work has appeared in several journals including Coal City Review, Rat’s Ass Review and One Art Poetry Journal, on public radio, in the di-verse-city anthology of the Austin International Poetry Festival, and is forthcoming in The Orchards Poetry Journal, and Amethyst Review. She lives in Rockville, Maryland, United States, with her husband, three children, one good dog, one bad puppy and a demon of a cat. She makes her living in technology marketing.

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