Temporary List of Inquietudes by Nicole Rollender

Temporary List of Inquietudes

Wild rabbits ravaging our ripening strawberries
Our son asks how long they’ll live: the red berries dripping in sun
& rabbits. We explain there’s a season for all of us
In a month the strawberry stems wilt & brown back into the earth
In a year, the oldest rabbit curls himself into the dirt
His fur & bones wreckage for burial or shoveling away
This way, we open our son’s memories to longing
That day, I was happy
That day, I remember the light warming the top of my head
The world shows its face in the rabbit’s shadow
His tears for not picking the half-eaten strawberry
The teeth marks like the brokenness we all learn
A cloud moving the sun’s face
Our son looks up: Maybe rain’s coming
More strawberries will grow
There’s still time to taste this sunlight in the berries
We wanted to teach him that living’s what we desire
Despite the destruction in the garden & inside our bodies
The rabbits live in the sun such a short time
& the berries & the sound of bells & our sorrows


A 2017 NJ Council on the Arts poetry fellow, Nicole Rollender is the author of the poetry collection, Louder Than Everything You Love (Five Oaks Press), and four poetry chapbooks. She has won poetry prizes from Palette Poetry, Gigantic Sequins, CALYX Journal and Ruminate Magazine. Her work appears in Alaska Quarterly Review, Best New Poets, Ninth Letter, Puerto del Sol, Salt Hill Journal and West Branch, among many other journals. Nicole is managing editor of THRUSH Poetry Journal, and holds an MFA from the Pennsylvania State University. She’s also co-founder and CEO of Strand Writing Services. Visit her online: www.nicolemrollender.com.