Poets

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Kristin Robertson

Kristin Robertson is the author of Surgical Wing (Alice James Books, 2017). She is an assistant professor of English and creative writing at Tennessee Wesleyan University.

By This Poet

1

Lottery

A chance so close to zero, zero’s a baby
pool shoved against your screen door

thirty-six thousand feet below this airplane
where a preschooler chokes on a pretzel.

Every passenger stands, clutching
their necks as the mother scrapes her finger

down the girl’s throat. “You’re living in despair,”
the psychiatrist said back home. Long after

she forgets she once stopped breathing,
the girl asks if a plane ever falls from the sky.

“Sometimes it does,” you say. “Sometimes it does.”
One in eleven million. And when she says,

“They’ll catch us, the yellow trees,” you see
the start of a ginkgo tunnel: You haven’t lost

a baby. You go to work, sell tires, rinse
your feet at dusk in your makeshift plastic

pond, where soon all the suns will float:
the bright petals you won’t win, but find.