A Jungle of Tears
by Stacy Campbell
Stacy Campbell

Stacy Campbell lives in Hurst, Texas. She teaches special education language arts, and sponsors a poetry club at her high school. In her free time she plays the guitar, writes poetry and short stories, and drinks very cold beer. She is previously published in The Texas Observer, Writer’s Digest, North Texas Professional Writer’s Anthology, The Teachers Voice, Orange Room Review, Splash of Red, The Smoking Poet and other on-line publications. She was a Commendation Award Winner from The Society of Southwestern Authors.

I touch oil paintings and clay,
all that is left of my mother.
I wander from here to there
thick words stuck in my throat

a vision, unimagined
nestled and burning my brain —
her body on a stretcher in our living room,
so foreign, out of place
like a humpback whale on the freeway
or a pinwheel in the bathtub

Death does not make sense
even when it does. My sweet sisters
cradle me, and it almost feels right.
Once, in Ohio, it was so close to right
my tears were a jungle full of tiny jaguars
running down my neck, unstoppable,
patting me down in desperation

When morning comes slow
I feel their tiny paws, almost smelling
mother's skin when she comes in from
the backyard, red and smiling

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