after Naomi Shihab Nye

The ground is so hard
in the winter here,
I’ve decided to travel
to Dallas for the burial.

Perhaps the floral cloth
masks will sprout in May.
And the paper ones can
serve as compost for now.

And the sculptures I’ve built
from expired COVID tests
could re-emerge from the dirt,
turn into a miracle treatment.

The receipts from the cat’s
second surgery should be
burned and then placed
in a deep dark hole.

In my pocket, I’ll keep a
few small pebbles I found
by a vast Canadian lake,
unburied, round and smooth.


Ellen Skilton’s creative writing has appeared in Cathexis Northwest Press, Literary Moma, Ekphrastic Review, and Dillydoun Review. In addition to being a poet, she is an educational anthropologist, an applied linguist and a Fringe Fest performer. She is also an excellent napper, a chocolate snob, and a swimmer.