Still Life Without Gratitude

by Jill Crammond

Ghosts have been turning off the lights.
Wires aren’t smoldering or burning inside walls,
but the life is melting out of everyone who lives here.

See Dick practice love as lock down drill.
See Jane draft daily escape plans.

By escape I mean map.
By map I mean
there are fires burning that only a controlled burn can extinguish.

Family as candle wax,
as blackened wicks too short or too long.

We are not bound to thank anyone for their kindness,
but there is a man across town who mowed the lawn once,
another not far from here who cleaned the chimney.
Both will be buried in the family plot.

It scares me to think that I might be replaceable,
but I plan my funeral anyway.

Jill Crammond is a poet/mother, feeding her children and her passion for poetry books by teaching art and preschool in upstate NY. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Mother Mary Come to Me Anthology, Fiolet and Wing: An Anthology of Domestic Fabulist Poetry, Tinderbox, and more.


Artwork by: Meg Nielson