Kristin LaTour


She rowed her dozen sorrows to the center of the lake
pushed them each overboard hoping they'd drown,
but they floated, grew arms and fins and swam
in the wake back to shore, shook the wet
from their skin. They clambered into her car,
made blank stares and ahems the whole way home.

She walked her 24 sorrows to the ocean-battered cliff
tossed them off one by one hoping they'd smash,
but they boomeranged back faster than her arm
could throw them and counting them as they huddled
at her feet she sighed, led the slow parade
back over the hill to her darkened home.

She packaged her 36 sorrows in brown cardboard boxes
wrapped in brown paper and tied with white twine.
She licked 36 stamps and addressed the labels
to unknown prisoners at the island penitentiary.
The boxes were traced back to her door
where they were delivered, smashed and full
of hungry squinting sorrows, only more.

She boarded her 48 sorrows on the train that crossed
Mountains, savannas and valleys covered in snow
Arranged them in reclining seats with cups of tea
and one shortbread cookie each. She took a long rope
laced it between them as they munched and slurped
took the other end with her off the train just before
the conductor shut it tight. She tied the rope
around her slender waist, held her breath and closed her eyes.

Kristin LaTour's most recent chapbook is Agoraphobia, from Dancing Girl Press (2013), as well as two others: Blood (Naked Mannequin Press 2009) and Town Limits (Pudding House Press 2007). Her poetry has appeared in journals such as Fifth Wednesday, Cider Press, After Hours, dirtcakes, qarrstiluni, and The Adroit Journal. She teaches at Joliet Jr. College and lives in Aurora, IL with her writer husband, a lovebird, and two dogitos. Readers can find more information at

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