New same Year

                                                            January 2021



Every day,           I am a mother,

and I am asked   to explain

things I don’t really                understand


– like contrails      or the monarchy or            how Cheerios

are made –


but I am running       out of words

this     year.


My country lighting            itself

on      fire


your eyes hopeful

for an answer

to the necessary                   Why?


My lame reply:

                                                            Can you eat

your oatmeal,



For a lifetime, I’ll regret    that lie.


Let me answer            now:


We humans, if we cannot         fly,

                                                         we       choose to die

                                             bringing    others    down.


Flock of starlings high        in murmuration


out the kitchen window.                     There is a why


for every seeming senseless flight.



Steph Ellen Feeney was born in Louisiana, and holds a BA from Georgetown University and an MA from UCL. She lives in Suffolk, where she is working on her first collection of poetry.
Instagram: @stephellenfeeney