Julie Sheehan reads

Interruption by Singapore Sling

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My daughter is falling, is falling from catalpas,
from monkey bars, piano benches, is falling
in barbeque pits at playdates, St. Patrick’s Day parties,
she’s falling out of bed, she’s sleeping and flung.

What startles, that paisley rugs and asphalt alike
could volunteer her embrace? In flight from infant
dread, a Moro reflex plays her six years
obsessively. Her arms parachute open,

but where down should be is gravity’s unbroken
surface, and off to Dr. Grace go humerus,
clavicle, carpals. The parts add up to spirit
lemon-laced and cordial: a sling for heartbreak

palpated, not to be healed of shrapnel and flack
no jacket dissuades. My daughter is falling back
into her Good Girl routine, a junior drill team
officer doing her backover port spin best

with a sequined rifle. Outside weather’s clear,
but trauma embeds itself like fractured bone,
cracked ice, lightning deep in a Homer seascape.
She’s falling into reverie, slinging Together

with cherry Get Back into a gulf you’d call hope
if it hadn’t been drained long ago, and not by her.
She’s just a falling daughter, floating brandy
shot at high velocity, stone in a Singapore sling.