Thursday, April 20, 2017

Poem: In Georgia, a Lake

In Georgia, a Lake

In Georgia, a lake almost as large
as the sea, is drying up.
It feels like that this morning
when I meant to say IED
and instead say IUD in a class,
and after I say it, I realize there is
something wrong, but I can’t quite
come up with what the acronym is.
Why do acronyms remind me of Geometry,
which I could never master either?

On TV this morning, I watch
as a broadcaster talks about the closing
of ski resorts in the Sierra Nevada Mountains,
because the drought has destroyed
the snowcaps. “We did everything we could,”
the ski lodge owner tells the camera.
“We moved snow around, but in the end,
we had to close early.”

My son insists
global warming is a liberal fantasy.
“Weather is cyclical,” he tells me.
I wonder why I worked so hard to pay
for all those expensive schools he attended,
if he can be influenced by FOX News.

There’s a lake inside me, large as the one
in Georgia, a gigantic hole inside me,
where my love for my son is,
though it is not enough to close
the distance between us.

by Maria Mazziotti Gillan; selected by Diane Wakoski as the winning poem for Beyond Baroque's 7th Annual Poetry Contest, 2017

Maria Mazziotti Gillan is the author of twenty-one books. Her latest publications are the poetry collection, What Blooms in Winter and the poetry and art collection, The Girls in the Chartreuse Jackets . Maria's official website is at

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