Two Poems

By Allison Whittenberg


On that gorgeous spring day, the strong sun mocks. It was so 
close to
her June birthday. Couldn’t she have lasted two more weeks? Who
knew she
a timebomb? Who knew she had this hidden defect? I should have
been born
That day, distant relations ate sloppily. Macaroni salad slid
off their
spoons onto their chins.
They made it a party. There was chicken: fried, braised,
broiled, roasted
So much damn food.
Anger is my favorite part of the grief process. I do it well.
The hincty lady down the street came by fussing for her pan.
She had left her pan. She had to have her pan. I’d lost a person;
lost a pan.
I gave her her pan, told her where to shove it, slammed the
I was old enough to know that pets, flowers, people die, but not
Daddy’s usual husky, tender voice offered no solace. He crumbled
My brother contacted his therapist.
My sister still walks around with her face.
Daffodils bloomed.
And Otis Reading played on the stereo that Fa Fa Fa Fa sad song.

Turning 30


I’ve fallen


In love

With myself

When I look in the mirror

A sense of self-esteem

Courses through me and all I can think of is


If you ain’t fine.”