In the Index of My Days

Rise, Meg Jenson


lichen, cold mornings,
earth, my mother, sleepy
afternoons, songbirds
in canopy


i have been driving for miles
& miles, always this back & forth
between us, i want to tell you
that the yellow flower-weeds
have started growing
in walkway cracks


i am blissful in sitting, in sitting around
people for whom my heart always beats so
heavily & sitting below the growing canopy of trees,
feeling whispers of rainfall from their leaves
landing on the top of my head, sliding
down the back of my neck.


in stillness, my body
stops ringing. i remember
that i am full of grief & longing
& that this has always been the case
but all that feeling is consequence of the fact
that i am here & that all of everything
is happening


& right now i am yawning in my 8 am class,
drinking coffee with too much sugar
from the shop on campus while in another city,
a mother is picking out the color of the coffin
of her first-born son, & at home, my father
sits in his kitchen brewing coffee, alone.
somewhere, along highway 85, you are sitting
in traffic,
humming along quietly to the radio


i am overrun with memories
of all this silence between us,
rooms where i have been held carefully
along the small of my back. memories
of being a child playing kick-can in the yard
with other children, & even today –
the soft voices we use with on another
on warm, quiet afternoons.
there are little schools of fish
swimming through my eyes
all day
& night


these days i speak of myself
in past-tense, writing about today (yesterday)
as though tomorrow is no more
than early morning dew settling on blades
of grass. the whole sky this morning was ringing
in peach & apricot at the horizon, the honeysuckle
wearing a faint veil of pale green. the daffodils & dandelions
have been patient in the cold, the new moon is coming,
& the birds. always the birds, on their way. i think of days
when this weather meant you were not so far away, & the light,
changing so fast now i believe i can see you
turning a corner & then the rain comes in,
smelling of pine & moss, a kind
of shameless intrusion on the quiet seeds of spring

About the Author

Michelle Delouise Ashmore · Hendrix College

Michelle DeLouise is a Creative Writing senior at Hendrix College. She has previously been published in Rising Phoenix Review, Hawai’i Pacific Review, Red Flag Poetry, Rookie Mag, The Olive Press, and Clementine Unbound. “In the Index of My Days” first appeared in Aonian.

About the Artist

Meg Jenson · University of Minnesota

Meg Jenson graduated in Spring 2019 with a BFA in graphic design from the University of Minnesota. In 2016, Meg had a design piece used as the feature artwork for Art In Mind, a mental health art exhibition curated by Boynton Health.  “Rise” first appeared in The Tower.

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