With Child
Marni Asplund-Campbell, editor

For my sister, nearing armistice
Linda Sillitoe

[p.181]You now are sentry, also army nurse,
deep in battle plans to blast the horde.
You also bore the battleground and the prize—
this dark-eyed girl who, at three, won four and five.
Outside her hospital window, spring gains force,
spurting dandelions through bricks and boards,
loading birds in trees as pollen swirls the skies.
In all that life, where’s one for her to live?

If the needles stabbed, the chemicals all failed,
and her hair drifted from her clever head like all
your questions (prayers) scouting the nights,
still, each dawn you woke with her and smiled.

Now trust each cup you lift to soothe like rainfall,
for bending toward her, you are rimmed with light.