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Daughter I am saying things to you by Amy Schmitz

Daughter I am saying things to you

by Amy Schmitz

published in Kestrel, Fall 2016


like sand seed storage

like always have something to sustain you, something

of substance beneath your surface

always stay within yourself

withdraw but do not wither


I came from nothing

I was fed on nothing I decorated my hair

with nothing so

I had to give you a pocket inside your graduation dress

I had to give you lockets nooks decades

I had to give you Dublin Paris Munich

(you took Dakar Addis Nairobi)


Daughter I am saying things to you

like return but do not hurry

I am saying things to you like room ring restless

breach slip wood

lake border

you are turning them into ocean palisade downpour

I am saying things like mountain pine basin

you are turning them into canyon desert mesa


Daughter I am telling you

stay within yourself—there is no thirst for you

elsewhere

there is no one you’ll love like I do

go but do not linger


I came from nothing

I was bred on nothing I was wanted for nothing I looked

for nothing so

I had to give you the wild outer edge green-gold spire needle-dry inland

of Californian spring

thick skin to withstand loss

a spine to shed

curves for shelter



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