Sitting on the toilet lid, reading about filet mignon
Lady Gaga likes bloody, how she rubs her toes against
silk sheets for self-soothing in Paris hotels.
Oh shit, my fourteen-year-old’s diaper!
I remember that hole my mother cut
in our bathroom floor and nailed a hamper over.
Dirty laundry fell straight to the basement.
Beneath our toilet, lay a rust stain I mistook
for a nipple and thought was some lost part of her.
I wonder if my son knows I’m falling apart?
I find him kicking in his hospital bed,
sweat beading his upper lip, sheets twisted
into a ball around his feet. I’m sorry, I say,
and fold his sheets while he stares mute at the TV.
I strip off his wet pajamas, wash and dress him
in jeans and a sweater he won’t leave the house in,
and strain to pull his one hundred pound body up
so his head rests on the pillow. I cup his face
in my hands, kiss his cheek, ask Are you happy?
He smiles, tells me Yes by looking into my eyes
then turns back toward his show. Kicking,
he lifts his head, signals he wants me to shut up
and pay attention. Seven miles beneath the Pacific,
lies a gash where the seabed plunges
into Earth’s molten core. It’s the deepest,
darkest place on the planet. On screen,
they flash a century old daguerreotype of the sailor
who discovered it by dangling a length of rope
and a lump of lead into the sea. Next, a woman
sways wild haired and ruddy at the helm of a ship.
She holds a black chunk of volcanic rock,
about the size of a heart, excavated from the chasm
where pressure is densest. It is the oldest rock
in the world. We watch as a robotic arm collects
specimens: sea cucumber, anemone, scavenging crabs,
life thought not to be possible, the voice over tells us.
They feed on nutrients that rise from the ancient sediment.
If the sun burned out tomorrow, they’d continue to thrive.
—Wendy Jones (Hamilton County)
Wendy Jones is a poet and yoga instructor who lives in Carmel, Indiana. She works as a professional caregiver for her adult son. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from Butler University.
Poetry Prompt: Recording a Moment of Synchronicity
Write a poem that relates a moment of synchronicity—an instance when coincidental events seem meaningfully related. You don’t need to explain this meaning; let the way you describe the events suggest that.
Indiana Humanities is celebrating National Poetry Month by sharing a poem and prompt every day in April. Indiana Poet Laureate Shari Wagner selected these poems and wrote the prompts.