Journalism In Verse

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A Mother’s Grief Is So Inconvenient

in Gun Violence/U.S. by

to the debate, for these are
the guns we rub with oil
to display in cases. We must shut
the child’s door on the mother
folding and unfolding
the boy’s clothes still fresh
from the dryer, someone
bringing her water then
making her drink it. A mother’s
grief is so irrational as she folds
and unfolds the cooling clothes
through the night until each item
is neatly squared and laid out
on the bed in a sort of flag pattern
that she will dissemble and assemble
until it finally makes sense.


Sonia Greenfield was born and raised in Peekskill, New York, and her book, Boy with a Halo at the Farmer’s Market, won the 2014 Codhill Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the 2010 and 2018 Best American Poetry, Antioch Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Los Angeles Review, Massachusetts Review, and Willow Springs, among others. Her chapbook, American Parable, won the 2017 Autumn House Press/Coal Hill Review prize and is forthcoming in March of 2018. She lives with her husband and son in Hollywood where she edits the Rise Up Review and co-directs the Southern California Poetry Festival.

Photograph by Ginny.

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