» Poetry


Fumble on the big screen, everyone

up in arms. My daughter grasps my shirt

 while nursing and can’t let go. Across the room,

 my mother applies Chapstick without taking

her eyes off the screen. It’s Christmas. Everyone believes

in miracles and wants to hold the baby. My grandmother

 sits at the table holding a doll. Beyond her, a train

 slips through the snowy field carrying—what? Time

moves backwards on the field. Less than a minute left

on the clock. My grandmother’s lips barely close around the red

 spoonful of Jello with coconut. A marshmallow falls

from the spoon in all its puffed-up,

childhood ecstasy. The game is nearly over.  Pins

 and needles. The tree is heavy with color

 and ornaments of beans and children’s faces.

My grandmother tightens her fingers around the hanky

she has always held. Eventually, there is nothing

 left beneath the tree. Everyone kisses the baby.

 They each slip a finger into her palm,

and she struggles to let them go.


Angela Voras-Hills

Angela Voras-Hills has published in Kenyon Review Online, Best New Poets, Hayden's Ferry Review, and New Ohio Review, among other journals and anthologies. She earned an MFA at UMass-Boston and has received awards from The Sustainable Arts Foundation, Key West Literary Seminar, Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing, and Writer Writers' Room of Boston. She is Online Literary Arts Director at Arts + Literature Laboratory and lives with her family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.