Mary Beth Ferda • Mother

I decorate my living room. I stare at the walls
then redecorate my living room. The dogs
are Annie, Patsy, Cindy, and Little Pup.
I water them, feed them, then pick which one

deserves a walk. I stand in the yard,
face the house, and think about landscaping.
I stand in the yard, face the road
and think about my daughter.

I wish she’d dump that creep. I just
pressure-washed the siding last month,
but I think I see mold already. It’s been so
humid. Today I could hang that new

picture in the living room. I could hang
that old picture in the living room.
I could walk out to the cemetery and see
Daddy. I need to eat something.

I have another daughter in Florida. I have her
poems in my purse and I need to show them
to the neighbors. I can’t wait till she comes
home. I hope she never comes home.

Last time she left, all this was dry and frozen.
The deer didn’t dot the field. They were hiding
from the hunters. I’ve seen two already today,
one by the pond, another in the road.

Mary Beth Ferda’s work recently appeared in The Times Literary Supplement. She is a graduate of the MFA program at the University of Florida and an editor at Cellpoems.org.