(Cassie Smart/Unsplash)

Sometimes, traversing a day,
the phrase arrives:
‘My kind father.’
I pause, go on,
knowing this is a way
we’re remembered.
Nothing specific,
nothing planned or sacramental,
no sacrifice of a pure white goat,
just this small tide that rises,
slipping over the basin’s lip
onto a dry patch of my life.

Nikia Leopold’s poems have appeared in various magazines, including the American Scholar, Commonweal, Measure, the Southern Review, and Poetry. Her chapbook Small Pleasures won the 2012 Blue Light Press contest, and her second book, Healing with Shadows, was published in January 2021. She lives in Ruxton, Maryland.

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Published in the June 2021 issue: View Contents
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