Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Broken

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for J.G.

The broken sprinkler waterfalls our sidewalk.
We tried to fix it,
struggled through some muggy Saturdays
to adjust the head,
then called in experts
who charged a ton
and left illusions of results.
That sprinkler wouldn’t
couldn’t work the way we wanted.

We attempt peace
with the unexpected.
Look how it sprays so fiercely upward,
a bird determined to escape
our good intentions,
and when water finally breaks its flight
to pieces that silver in the light,
it flings itself to earth, blue shade
crystal droplets, holy clarity
according to its own rules,
much like our son.


Joan Manheimer’s poetry has appeared in Calyx, Jewish Women’s Literary Annual, Edgz, and Palimpsest. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband and two adolescents.


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