Making a Better Life for Anna (sestina) This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

January 20, 2011
I’ll never forget
the teacup
that I left broken
next to a scarlet apple
and my dreams
in my childhood home.
“I want to go home,
Mommy, why do you always forget
to bring me back home?” My baby has bad dreams
because of that ridiculous teacup
filled with caffeinated apple
cider, which is too much for Anna, she’s broken
and can’t be fixed. Broken
daughter wants to go home.
I give her a snack, her apple
slices. She’ll never forget
her favorite thing to nibble. Inside a teacup
with her name painted on it, are her dreams.
My childhood dreams
were broken
ones, like the teacup
I left at home.
I’ll never forget
the scarlet of that apple.
pie was my husband’s favorite, my daughter dreams
of his death…she’ll never forget.
“The brakes were broken,”
the police told us when we got home.
I sipped from my teacup
and cried. Teacup,
saucer, and spoon dropped to the floor. My mother’s apple
martini spilled into the cracks of my childhood home,
along with my dreams
I’d call broken,
but I’d never forget.
I hurried home and filled my daughter’s teacup
with a dose of forget. She said, “The apple
was bruised,” like my dreams, long broken.

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