Kathryn Gahl

Archive for January, 2016|Monthly archive page

By Now

In Uncategorized on January 28, 2016 at 3:37 pm

By now

so many poems

are needed


each a droplet

of dirt

in the river

the ocean

the fierce snow


the collapsed moral

that made us think

we could take the


earth when it was

not ours

for the taking


but for the giving

the breathing

that watershed of

gratitude when


musical notes

like piano, bass, and drums

sang the sky

before the worry

the waterfall of pain


from the suicides

the homeless

the ex-lovers


parched for love

and filled with longing

mournful and


reaching for the high notes


the bottom note


the sudden stop

dead air

verbal explosion


in a water bath

of positive and negative

that end


in battery,

assault, Trump,

this violent


seizing and

apoplectic greed.





In Anxiety, Depression, Healthcare, Maternal Mental Illness, Parenting, Uncategorized, Work-Family Conflict on January 26, 2016 at 4:44 pm

in a basketball game

players work hard to

watch the moving screen 

and in the

game of life the screen works too

as we watch the fecund mother-to-be


the precious round ball of life in her belly

we oogle and shower and grin at the hunky-doryness


and when the ball hits the real world

the bouncing





shows us what miracle looks like

and oh oh oh

we remember the miracle


and then whoa

we forget the pressure to perform

we fail to screen the mother

for overwhelmingness

fastidiousness anxiety depression

a rim of pain

now known as maternal mental illness



we expect her to work full-time

excel at her job

breastfeed till the cows came home

 cook and clean

and oh take care of the Daddy too

he has needs dontcha know

and she keeps up


bounce passing

jump shooting

bypassing sleep (can’t sleep anyway)

a hook shot here

a free throw there

though nothing’s free


because maternal leave costs money dontcha know

how can you expect to stay home

and be a momma for a year or two

do nothing but raise a child

and get some sleep and

be lovin’

on the baby’s father

when there’s other work to do


and that’s why she runs laps

keeps up

because that’s what mothers do

dontcha know

until they don’t

until they go crazy