Jessica Lynn Suchon is a poet, essayist, and women’s rights advocate. She is currently an MFA candidate at Southern Illinois University where her poetry has received recognition from the Academy of American Poets. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in Radar Poetry and Rust + Moth, among others. In 2016, she was named an Emerging Writer Fellow by Aspen Words, a partner of the Aspen Institute. She currently resides and writes in Carbondale, Illinois, where she runs poetry workshops and lives with her boyfriend Josh Myers and their dog Gracie.
I ask my mother to let me plant
fig trees in the yard.
My mother warns me
when winter comes
I could lose them in a cold spell.
How many times
have I almost told her
each day I unearth a dead thing.
In the lattice of dogwood
and carolina silverbell,
drums over the snap of shotguns in the ravine.
My mother never wanted a child,
but once told me how she fell
five months into her pregnancy, twisted and broke
her ankle—snapped in half to keep me safe.
who never wanted a child,
but got me. I think
I understand what she meant
when she said But I love you now,
how love and want
are rarely the same.
she was to become a mother.
The hole in front of me wails open
and I keep digging.
My mother on her knees
beside me cradles mangled
roots in her hands, a prayer she lowers into the ground.