Liz Hildreth

Mother's Day



Today I ate ribs and cake


at 8 p.m. with my family


and two flamenco dancers.


I couldn’t have predicted


the number of paintings,


to the very very ceiling


like jelly beans in the Louvre.


I couldn’t have guessed


I would feel so simple and full.


At dinner the flamenco dancer


told us her mother died


days before (at 102). She


knows it’s impossible


to prepare for the fact


that nothing you do matters.


That’s why she brought this cake.


Look at your daughter,


pounding it with a sledgehammer.


Happy Mother’s Day.


What else can you do.

Label Maker



It's all underneath


an impassable bone.


What she knows.


What we know.


What we think


we know and don't.


We light a match:


the sparks fly


and the sky looks


and smells of smoke.


But it's not smoke,


it's a new snow.


We'll never say that though.


We'll never know we should.


Moments like this


are everywhere,


no sense in sorting.


LIZ HILDRETH’s poems, translations, and essays have been published in Hayden’s Ferry Review, McSweeney’s, Parthenon West, Michigan Quarterly Review, and Forklift, Ohio, among other places. She lives in Chicago and works as a writer in online education.