Issue > Poetry
Betsy Johnson-Miller

Betsy Johnson-Miller

Betsy Johnson-Miller lives and teaches in Minnesota. Her poetry and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Gray's Sporting Journal, Agni (on-line), Mid-American Review, LIT and 5AM. Her second book of poetry, Fierce This Falling, will be published by Mayapple Press in early 2012.

My Mother Dies Because I Drink Her Water

We're on a train in the desert.
There are other people around—
like furniture they take up space
but impact the scene in no other way.

The train has stopped. Before long
a thirst at the back of my throat trembles.
It falls into canyon, long and deep.
My mother sleeps and doesn't know

the train has stopped. She doesn't know
I reach into her bag and take what she
isn't giving. Six days pass. Water leaves
her body forcing skin too close to bone.

She tumbles slow motion into forever.
A weed. Skeleton. Wind blown.