Guest Poem by Lola Haskins

Lola Haskins’ fourteenth collection of poetry, Homelight (Charlotte Lit Press 2023), was named Poetry Book of the Year by Southern Literary Review. The one previous to that, Asylum (University of Pittsburgh, 2019), was featured in the New York Times Sunday Magazine. Past honors include four book prizes, two narrative poetry prizes, the Florida's Eden prize for environmental writing, and the Emily Dickinson Prize from Poetry Society of America. This poem is from Acumen 109.

The Perch

The glacier on which I stand has become an island.
Blue and white as the insides of clouds, it calves
into the sea which is no longer ice, and the new
beings, the calves, sink slowly, but they sink.

The glacier on which I stand is a mystery in which
I used to trust, the way a child trusts her parents
as if they were gods, though every night she sees
them vanish into the room where she is not allowed.

The glacier on which I stand is my life, is my
argument with the world, is the world. And
every moment my perch on it is smaller than
the moment before and soon the day will come

when its shifting edge will ease me into the slush
where my parents are, and my grandmother the crone,
who snored like a cow in the twin bed next to mine, and
would dress, arms akimbo, under her voluminous gown.