What We Can Gather by Gabby Gilliam

What We Can Gather

I can see you trying so hard to look happy
clenching your jaw when you smile
grimacing at the pressure on your loose teeth
willing yourself to have fun though
your dinner of pills roils in your stomach

but you dragged yourself
out of your house to sit
with me on this sofa.

Blue jays will weigh nuts
comparing heft before filling beak
with the largest available meal

the way you weigh options
which last memories you want
to take with you––what smiles
to leave behind for us
so hungry for more time with you
our mouths filled with as many
minutes as we can carry.


Gabby Gilliam lives in the DC metro area with her husband and son. Her poetry has most recently appeared in Tofu Ink, The Ekphrastic Review, Pure Slush, Deep Overstock, Vermillion, MacQueen’s Quinterly, and Equinox. You can find her online at gabbygilliam.squarespace.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GabbyGilliamAuthor.