They say she’s holed up like a squirrel, nuts
to last the winter, glimpses of green bath-
robe when she shuffles down the hill
to her mailbox to collect more
rejection. People start laying bets,
perhaps she has a corpse hidden like,
what’s her name, was it Emily?
Maybe she’s taken a bad spell, some female kind
of thing. No, they have stuff to take for that
nowadays. She tucked away in October, some failure
in communication with her child, heart failure, but it keeps
on pumping bad through those tight veins. So tight they bulge
blue, blue like a Jaguar some boyfriend had forty years ago,
never let her drive it, too unstable he said. She wishes she
had driven it off a cliff, save the trouble now of figuring out an
She squirrels antihistamines in her cheeks, hides them
under the mattress, forgets to take the medications that keep her
from being allergic to herself. She thinks about her child, seed
destroying her heart, who does not want to talk, see her, just
blame her for whatever erodes her own core. They don’t know details,
just that the woman is hibernating, saving herself the same way that forty-year-old blue Jaguar is on
display down at the Jag showroom. She has her own thoughts
about cats and the damage they do, thinks stepping into a cage with a tiger would be less painful than heartache she cannot stop.
She might as well be a bear. Come spring, come spring
permeates that slow mind. She might as well be a bear.
They prepare their offspring to be alone.