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Sonnet For My Mother

by Riley Rennhack

I carried a dead bird into my house
to please my mother who was on the phone
believing the “dove” might just be sleeping,
stunned by the cold that took over Texas.
It was Ash Wednesday. She’s not a Catholic,
but she’ll take what she can get gladly–
so it was a sign, and I found it all
contagious: her believing, that maybe
life. I let myself hope for miracles,
picked up the bird, wrapped it up in red,
placed it perched in a basket near the heat
and waited. That’s what she told me to do.
Half an hour. An hour. Are you sure
it hasn’t moved? No ma’am. Yes, I washed my hands.


Riley Rennhack (she/her) lives in rural Texas with an old dog and a mule. Her students at the local high school call her “Miss R” and they’d be shocked to know she writes poems. 

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