The Tug of Gravity · Catherine Arra

Bern, 1903

I walk the market stalls among fishmongers,
find myself gutted, mouth agape, glassy eye staring.

In my rooms alone, bed pillow pressed to chest, I hold her,
lost daughter, luminous brown eyes searching mine,

infant fingers finding the heart thread that tethers and
weaves a bond, blossoms into labyrinths of bliss and sorrow.

I nursed her, witnessed her sleepy waking to sensation, delighted in her
glee when she recognized my voice, smell, the rise and fall of my breasts.

She is a specter staring back from mirror eyes,
the ghost that follows in long shadows.


Catherine Arra is the author of Slamming & Splitting (Red Ochre Press, 2014), Loving from the Backbone (Flutter Press, 2015), Tales of Intrigue & Plumage (FutureCycle Press, 2017), and forthcoming from Dos Madres Press, Writing in the Ether. Her poetry and prose have been published in The Timberline Review, Boston Literary Magazine, and Naugatuck River Review, among other literary journals and anthologies. A former English and writing teacher, Arra now teaches part-time and facilitates a local writers’ group near her home in upstate New York. Find her at Catherine Arra