E.J. Miller Laino
The Red Lion Inn

(Stockbridge, Massachusetts)


This is what I know today and will know

again tomorrow. A canopy bed


two wing-back chairs, our belongings

in a small suitcase tucked away in the closet.


In the framed print hanging above the bed,

a young girl has stopped


to feed rabbits. I count twelve.

She seems content in the cool green woods.


I look to the telephone and realize I have not

called my two small daughters since we arrived


last night. Lobster for supper and this morning

fresh blueberries, raspberries, and homemade muffins.


If I stay here long enough, will I stop remembering 

them, the way I hardly remember my mother,


dead now almost twenty years, unless I hear

September Song, or see white hair


brushed smartly back from a forehead, corn-

flower blue eyes. My father died


two years ago and already he fades like late day

sun. I can't remember the exact birth date


of the daughter I gave up for adoption.

I think it must be like this, prisoners


forget their families and memorize the eyes

of guards, what changes outside a window.

Found In Volume 27, No. 02
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  • EJ Miller Laino
E.J. Miller Laino
About the Author

E.J. Miller Laino is the author of Girl Hurt (Alice James Books, 1995).  Her honors include a Vermont Studio Center fellowship and the 1996 American Book Award. Her work has appeared in literary journals and magazines including New York Quarterly and Poetry East.