You mean my mother
who drove north from Tampa
on U.S. 41 in a faded red
Ford from 1974 and didn’t stop
until she’d reached the tip
of the Keweenaw Peninsula.
You mean the mother who emailed
my work address, which she found
online, to say she’d been sober
for a year and learned to respect
other people’s boundaries.
You mean the mother who sent
a photo of my niece I never ask about
because I never knew she existed
because I’ve never met my brother
and why don’t I care about my family.
Somewhere there is a salmon
who is tired of swimming upstream,
who chooses to stay at sea, where
she flourishes, rather than return
to the river of her birth, where
the work of digging redds awaits,
where there will be fighting
and graveled flesh, where
she will die once she’s laid her eggs.
Marissa Glover currently lives and writes in Florida, where she is co-editor of Orange Blossom Review and a senior editor at The Lascaux Review. Marissa’s poetry has most recently appeared in Emerge Literary Journal, Louisiana Literature, River Mouth Review, and Middle House Review. Her poetry collection, Let Go of the Hands You Hold, will be published by Mercer University Press in 2021. You can follow Marissa on Twitter @_MarissaGlover_.
© 2020, Marissa Glover