All night she swims underwater, hearing a voice
distorted. Her body an armature, her hands shrinking
in cold skin. She opens her eyes, hears a verse
repeating. She remembers waking, listening
to a song called Willow, thinking of someone’s name
she thought she had forgotten. A neighborhood cat
howls in loneliness or warning. On the wall, the sun
hangs a square of light. On the table, a bowl of fruit,
one placemat—no longer two. The grain of wood
smoothed by many hands over many years. Curdled
milk of morning pours through the windows’ plaid
curtains. They move in the rain-bedraggled
breeze, the air rinsed clean and silent but for dripping
rain, a few bird calls, a woodpecker’s tapping.
GF Boyer’s poems have appeared in a number of publications, including The Southern Review, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Northwest, RHINO, and upcoming in The Midwest Quarterly. Among other awards, she won an Academy of American Poets Prize and the Theodore Roethke Prize. She has an MFA from the University of Washington, and she works as a freelance poetry editor and creative writing instructor.