all the things that come with a person leaving by Jessica Popeski

Poem title: all the things that come with a person leaving
Poet name: Jessica Popeski
Poem: move as if through honey: slower than you’d
like, to grow stronger than you are. remember 
this: if your head’s a spinning top at bedtime, 
it’s enough just to close your eyes & rest. gauge 

the bird by its song: the surprise of an owl’s 
hoo hoo hoo at lunchtime, arrow geese overhead. 
pansies suckle the windowsill; an oratorio from 
eggshells shattered in the sink. the almond, 

flowering, is another way of harnessing hope; 
the buttercup cheers you, yellows your chin; 
clouds crochet away the burgeoning stars. i want 
to tell you all the things that come with a person 

leaving, the abundance of jumpers, of cotton 
lawn, the single piece of silver you box & sharpie 
keep. unfold & refold your grief, shake it out, 
make it small, & get on with it. keep your new 

shoes off the table; never sew with pins lining 
your lips, & when the oranges are round & ripe, 
eat, let juice trickle becks to your elbows, litter the 
garden with their peel & pith, keep the slugs away.
End of poem.  
Credits and bio:  Copyright © Jessica Popeski
Previously published in Riddle Fence (No. 37, Summer 2020). 
Jessica Popeski is a dis/abled opera singer, professor, and internationally published, intersectional ecofeminist poet. Her work has been published in carte blanche, Leaf Press, Room, The Nervous Breakdown, The Windsor Review, Hart House Review, Write Where We Are Now, Riddle Fence, The Woven Tale Press, White Wall Review, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of multiple scholarships and awards, and was named one of Tkaronto/Toronto’s “exceptional up and coming writers” by Open Book. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph, and authored Oratorio and The Wrong Place with Anstruther Press. Her full-length collection, the problem with having a body, is forthcoming with Frog Hollow Press. She was raised, for the most part, in Moscow, Russia, and Sheffield, England, by her mother and grandmother, and is a Professor of English, Creative Writing, and Music at Seneca College, George Brown College, and Humber College.