Looking for Heaven

As Mom and her new husband Josh
drink endless cocktails and watch T.V.,
I sit in the closet with my ant farm,
a terrarium filled with red earth
I scooped from our yard.
I watch them dig an intricate maze
of tunnels, lug chunks of soil
to form a rubbish heap, then shape
a feeding den and cemetery cave—
waiting for a nave to explain
their form of faith,
to see whether they escape
their nether regions
to anything resembling peace.
East of Eden

Driving out of Iowa,
summer sun behind us
angry and red,
slanting into the eyes
of a westbound trucker.
A buck bounds out,
shining muscles and ribs—
struck by the unswerving
We glimpse
the animal’s torso, back legs,
front, head and antlers
suspended, each
glistening pink from sun.
My young daughter,
wary of her emotions,
aware she rarely fits
social expectations,
blurts out that death
is kind of thrilling—
and though a wiser part of me
agrees, I insist on outward grieving
and compassionate prayers,
as together we barrel
blindly east.
~ ~

Laura Foley is the author of six poetry collections, including, most recently, WTF and Night Ringing. Her poem “Gratitude List” won the Common Good Books poetry contest and was read by Garrison Keillor on The Writer’s Almanac. Her poem “Nine Ways of Looking at Light” won the Joe Gouveia Outermost Poetry Contest, judged by Marge Piercy. A palliative care volunteer in hospitals, with an M.A. and a M. Phil. in English Lit. from Columbia University, she lives with her wife and their two dogs among the hills of Vermont. http://www.laurafoley.net