My Evidence

When I saw dust settling,

the road black and gritty,

and noticed the air
shimmering as it lowered closer to the earth

like a soft blanket suffocating
the damp September

mornings that had morphed seamlessly
into November’s

crowded table
of berries, sweets, and yellow corn,

just before the hospital
phoned to say that Mother had called my name,

familiar syllables
caught in her throat,

I’d already detected her leaving
in my own body

and so while she paused
at the end of her journey,

which was also the beginning,
I rushed to her,

hurrying
as I’d never hurried before.


About the poet:

I work as a nurse practitioner at Sacred Heart University’s health center. I’ve been writing since my childhood, encouraged by my mother who loved poetry, and my father, a writer himself, who would type up the first few sentences of a story and ask me to finish it. I’ve never stopped writing since. My latest book is The Heart’s Truth: Essays on the Art of Nursing. Other publications are listed on my website, www.cortneydavis.com.

About the poem:

The poem “My Evidence” began as a workshop exercise—write a poem in which you use the words “dust,” “blanket” and so on. But then, somewhere in the middle, the memory of my mother’s death came into the poem, totally unexpectedly. At that point I abandoned the “exercise” and let the poem go where it would.

Poetry editors:

Judy Schaefer and Johanna Shapiro

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