The Academy of American Poets is the largest membership-based nonprofit organization fostering an appreciation for contemporary poetry and supporting American poets. For over three generations, the Academy has connected millions of people to great poetry through programs such as National Poetry Month, the largest literary celebration in the world; Poets.org, the Academy’s popular website; American Poets, a biannual literary journal; and an annual series of poetry readings and special events. Since its founding, the Academy has awarded more money to poets than any other organization.
Cathie Sandstrom’s poetry has appeared in Ploughshares, Ekphrasis, and Cider Press Review, as well as the anthology Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond (Beyond Baroque Books, 2015). She lives in Sierra Madre, California.
Time to call out
the skirling ghosts, to count like beads
on an abacus, your disappointments.
This day began with my order
Do Not Resuscitate
accepted crisply over the phone.
Now I also move toward elegy,
Freed from not knowing where you are,
I’ve traded the nagging worry for a shroud.
In the slim boat of each day, I stand
wary, look across the still surface.
Balance is all. The undercurrent, strong.
Not the peace I hoped for, this