national anthology of the best undergraduate writing 2011

For the Anniversary of Father’s Death

Maia ten Brink  • 
Princeton University

Mother, my sun-dried tomato,
it’s Sunday, let us wake up
and plant crocus bulbs in the frosted soil.


You have stopped growing altogether.
Every word is a chip on the rim of your glass.


Why do we celebrate our suffering each year,
orbit it, re-inhabit it?
Why do we leave untouched
the heart of the artichoke on the plate?


Somebody has to be there to stop you.
Somebody has to tell you you’re lovely,
your garden, your winter, your hips.