Poem for the New Year
My daughter said she would go outside
her comfort zone, would pull the string
on a booze-bottle popper. When her hands
didn’t burn, she popped another. Said
she’d try harder at school, listen
in History. I guess I was going out
of my comfort zone, too, letting her watch
the video of the liberation of Dachau—
a woman on her knees, kissing the arms
of a soldier, weeping, a man lifting a corpse
by the leg like a piece of scrap metal.
I tell her as a child I unraveled the streamers
that fell from the same poppers until l found little bits
of Chinese newspaper, what held the colorful paper
in place. Words I couldn’t read or say, words like
oh, honey, don’t worry—it could never happen again.
Martha Silano’s books include Reckless Lovely, The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception and, with Kelli Russell Agodon, The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice. Martha serves as poetry editor at Crab Creek Review and teaches at Bellevue College.