While the re-launch submissions roll in (which we will be selecting from at the end of June) I asked my two co-editors which of the poems that had picked up either a Readers’ Choice or Editor’s Choice Award in the past were their favourite poems.
I’ll start with Hannah Stone’s choice, which is I Help My Husband Sleep by Karen Greenbaum-Maya. The subject matter is common ground, which makes it that much harder to write it well, especially when you are up against wonderful canonical poems such as those written by Sharon Olds about her father. This one touched all three editors profoundly, and I seem to remember Brett Evans over at Prole really liking this too.
I Help My Husband Sleep
Your head rolls onto my shoulder, crushes
my hair so it rasps in my ear.
I smell your silver hair,
Einstein-wild from hospital sweat,
waxy under my hand.
Me almost under you, offering myself
as a better bed, compressing
the single-use egg-crate mattress.
I’m here to let you let down.
Stop fighting your eyelids’ pull.
Burrow your heavy head into my breast.
I’ll hold on while you take up your dreams
like a tired dog who feels the grass
under his paws, twitching in his sleep
at the flicker of abundant rabbits.
I lie braced in the narrow bed
that keeps me from cradling you enough.
Karen Greenbaum-Maya, retired clinical psychologist, German major, two-time Pushcart nominee and occasional photographer, no longer lives for Art but still thinks about it a lot. Kattywompus Press publishes her two chapbooks, Burrowing Song and Eggs Satori. Kelsay Books publishes her book-length collection, The Book of Knots and their Untying. www.cloudslikemountains.blogspot.com