To You, When Displaced

by Haley Petcher

I’m not your mother or your father, and you’re past the time of mockingbirds, billy goats, and looking glasses, of soothing your soul by listening to lullabies. Perhaps I cannot sing for you. I know I don’t have the money to buy what I wish I could give you. But perhaps I can write you a mountain. Let me write you a mountain with a cool breeze, with birds chirping and frogs creating a harmony. Let me write you a forest with wizened trees that reach to the clouds, with leaves in shades of green and yellow and red rustling on the ground, with a doe and her fawns grazing unafraid. Let me write you a river with clear water so you can watch as the fish swim downstream and as each pebble rolls slowly in the riverbed, becoming smooth. And when you find your quiet and it seeps into your veins like water into a flower’s roots, let me write you a path to guide you home again.

Haley Petcher earned her BA from Auburn University and her MA from the University of Louisville. She currently teaches high school English in Huntsville, AL. You can find her work in Pithead Chapel, the Eastern Iowa Review, and Inkwell Journal, among others, and you can learn more about her on Twitter (@HaleyPetcher) and at https://petcherpages.wixsite.com/portfolio.

This poem previously appeared in The Eastern Iowa Review.

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