poem index


Cathie Sandstrom

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Cathie Sandstrom

Cathie Sandstrom’s poetry has appeared in PloughsharesEkphrasis, 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.


by this poet


with a line from Ciaran Berry

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,

          from Swedish, the path moonlight lays over water

The ghost child fastens
his mouth to yours,
breathes your breath
from you so you cannot
cry out.
               He drew you creek side,
where you hung terrified,
gripping the deep-shaded
undercut bank


after a line by Tomas Tranströmer

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