sackcloth and ashes

By Anna Ivey

—for Meghann

While loving Chad the sadness grows between my ribs that Monday after she is murdered—and her child too. Fingers of mourning settle within marrowtendonscells quiet and aware. I am silent as a flabbergasted trout and return to sackcloth and ashes that color the skin. Everything collides and burns. Her parents are wisps against that sky refereeing her white casket—smooth and horrid—sliding into the dirt like a shamed Pleistocene glacier.


Anna Ivey is currently working on a PhD in poetry at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2014, and her most recent publications have been featured in So to Speak, Antithesis, Stone Highway Review, West Trade, and White Stag literary magazines. She was twice offered a fellowship by the Summer Literary Seminars to attend a writing program in Lithuania. She has also been published academically in Florida English, The Ellen Glasgow Journal of Southern Women Writers, as well as in The Apalachee Review. She lives in McDonough, Georgia with her husband, Chad, and her daughter, Aralyn, and they are expecting their second child in August.