Poem-A-Day: Mary Christine Kane

Tonight we have another of the Mutabilis Press poets, Mary Kane. The most recent of their anthologies asked poets to magnify ordinary things into something special. Reminiscent of Pablo Neruda’s wonderful odes, if you ask me. Mary’s poem gets at that charge in a subtle way, first glorifying the object and then magnifying its meaning in a gut-punch kind of way. I love how this poem hurts.


Your Sweater

That day I refolded your sweater,
Silly girl
Before it went back in the box
With your other things
Lying there too long

I meant not to
But I buried my face in it
And got lost

And then it was there
A moment
The kind we spend our lives avoiding

Suddenly it was like a splinter
A hunk of wood in my heart
And I knew all of you had to go
The frostbitten sorbet, the never-watched movies, our lists of plans

If my heart was bigger,
Perhaps I could have kept you
If it were strong like the ocean
I could let life and death lie
Within me,
Smooth shards of glass
Until harmless
Pummel shells with my tide
Until humbled
Into dust

But I gave away your things
Friends wondered why the labor

Love makes you do things, I said
And I am small


Go to this month’s first Poem-A-Day to learn how to participate in a game as part of this year’s series. You can have just a little involvement or go all the way and write a cento. I hope you’ll join in!


Born in Texas, Mary Christine Kane grew up in Western New York and has lived in Minneapolis most of her adult life. She works in marketing and is a volunteer for the arts and animal rescue. In 2019 her poetry chapbook, Between the stars where you are lost, was published by Finishing Line Press. Her poetry and nonfiction has also appeared in journals and anthologies including BluestemThe Buffalo Anthology, Right Here, Right NowPonder ReviewSleet and others.

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