2 poems | Sara Ryan

Phedras de Blondel

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This History of Lungs


  1. There are twelve worries she does not know, but she carries them onto the plane, through the ocean’s bleak face.
  1. She is a ruby in the night before Halloween.
  1. Her throat is a restless pigeon in a king bed.
  1. When she gets an MRI, they have to cut her wedding ring off.
  1. She is a diary I am keeping.
  1. She is a painter of the bedroom ceiling, carpenter’s daughter, blood-sick nurse—menace in a pressed suit.
  1. A man threatens to bring his gun to the office with my mother in the barrel’s ink
  1. She works behind blue windows of wake, face to mouth to metal.
  1. In Thailand, she eats grasshoppers and calls my father when he wakes up.
  1. She buries cubes of butter into a baked potato and chews the skin.
  1. When I see my mother, I see her hands twisting into knuckle.
  1. She is a child of splinter, a history bruised blue by wine.
  1. In California, she sobs into the herb garden when she misses my phone call.
  1. She collapses as a bale of parched hay.
  1. The drought has taken her tongue.


Sara Ryan is a first-year poetry MFA candidate at Northern Michigan University and an associate editor of poetry for Passages North. Her poetry has been published in Boxcar Poetry Journal, Bear Review, Jai-Alai Magazine and various anthologies, and is also forthcoming from The Boiler Journal.

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