On Breaking and Mending

by Barbara Costas-Biggs

I remember every day that I know nothing.
I patch the holes at the knees and dress minor wounds.
There is no good place to sit and watch
the trees rattle in the wind,
so I ask you to run with a branch
like a kite behind you so I can hear that whoosh,
but mind the holes where the dog has dug
and watch the clothesline.

Everything is fragile, like mended china
and I fear bones can break like chalk.
There are lines where things have half-way healed
but nothing is as it was.
I am tired of fearing the coming of seasons
and preparing for emptiness.
The garden is empty. The hen house is empty.
One day the car seats will be empty.
Is that when we will ask each other
What have we done to ourselves?

I know nothing of yesterday’s heartbreak.
It is replaced by what has happened today.
I try to remember that I am built of stars.
That every flash of a firefly is a miracle.
And that my world can be bigger than what tadpoles
imagine theirs to be.
I mind the rules.
I do not stray from this orbit.


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About Barbara Costas-Biggs

Barbara Costas-Biggs holds a BA in English and an MLIS. She lives in Eastern Kentucky on an organic farm and works as a public librarian. Her work has appeared recently in The Oyez Review and The Pikeville Review.

Barbara Costas-Biggs

Barbara Costas-Biggs is online at