The Very Beginning, And After

your mother wished and wished
for a girl

dressed you as one
first three years of your life, her sorrow

many years since you’ve been re-reading the print
lace left on your skin

goldfish remember nothing
long enough to mourn

you remember
almost everything

pink easter dress in a picnic field
how she called you princess, princess

sky’s open eggshell of spring clouds
that world without end

Mike James has been widely published in magazines throughout the country. He is the author of nine poetry collections, including Peddler’s Blues and The Year We Let the House Fall Down. He’s recently served as a Visiting Writer-In-Residence at the University of Maine, Fort Kent. Currently, he serves as an associate editor of the Kentucky Review. He lives and works in Chapel Hill, NC, with his wife and five kids.

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