Goodbye Thistle

by | Jun 20, 2018 | Poetry

Six a.m. and already bees
are at it like frenzied babies
at the breast, ravishing the powdered
nipples of the Matilija poppies.

She thinks of milky mornings
with one baby, another.
None with the one in between. The two:
frantic mouths, then eyes rolled back, elemental hour.
Warm bodies against hers, heavier by day, by week.
The one: lighter by year, weight of ash,
pollen heft, always there.

Memory’s hall, flooded now with early light,
is full and never filled. Through windows,
breezes come and go, sparrows. In the pouring
brightness, motes eddy and swirl, pollen
from the thistle of goodbye.

Listen to this poem:

Goodbye, Thistle, a poem by Catherine Abbey Hodges

Photo used under CC.

About The Author


Catherine Abbey Hodges’s most recent collection of poems is Raft of Days. Dan Gerber selected her first full-length collection, Instead of Sadness, as winner of the 2015 Barry Spacks Poetry Prize from Gunpowder Press. Her poems have appeared widely and been featured on The Writer’s Almanac and Verse Daily. Co-coordinator of California Poets in the Schools for Tulare County, Catherine collaborates with her husband, cellist Rob Hodges, and was named 2017 faculty of the year at Porterville College, where her students keep her awake and amazed.