Chapter 16
A Community of Tennessee Writers, Readers & Passersby


Book Excerpt: What Bends Us Blue

FROM THE CHAPTER 16 ARCHIVE: This poem originally appeared on February 21, 2014.


Former Knoxvillian Tom Lombardo is a poet, essayist, and freelance medical writer who lives in Midtown Atlanta. His poems have appeared in Southern Poetry Review, Ambit, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, and New York Quarterly, among others. He is the editor of an anthology, After Shocks: The Poetry of Recovery for Life Shattering Events, and is the poetry series editor for Press 53. His M.F.A. is from Queens University of Charlotte.


For weeks after Lana’s funeral,
my mother cooked for me,
handled death’s paperwork,
opened a door—
Look outside at your garden.
Looking outward for the first time since burial
prayers, I saw daffodils blooming,
the ones that Lana and I planted
in a sunken rectangular spot last Fall,
set against the bright, new green of Spring,
Easter white and careless yellow.

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