Week 17- Heather Ouellette-Cygan

Posted: July 25, 2011 in Heather Ouellette-Cygan, Week 17

One of my goals this time round with TGAP was to work on revising my work. I’ve spent the last couple of months this summer researching revision theory and application. This week’s submission is a revision of a poem I published in an earlier form for Week 13. 


Rubber Neck

Every time the circling vulture

Sirens pass our house,

I take inventory of where

Mine are. Need to make sure

Emergency’s expanding

Sound is spinning off

Toward someone else’s bliss;


That the whispering touch of E.M.T.s

Will settle someone else’s

Soul to coma, jettison words

Through an impartial mouthpiece

Toward another mother’s ears.


While, through my phone,

Cam jokes, “Mom, I’m just calling

With the 4-1-1. I’m at the club.

Just letting you know in case

Something happens. Okay, Mom?” But


When I imagine him leaving

Club Three-One-Three with another

Boy in a homophobic

Part of town, I

See him falling from Charlie’s

Bridge or tied to Matthew’s

Fence.  When


Zoë calls from the shady

Park, she wants

To play there untended into the evening.

But even as I imagine her friends

Close by, the candy doling strangers,

Lure her from the swinging glee

To the loud and eternal scribble

Of every Amber Alert scrawled too late.


I swell like a siren swells; and as I

Activate this emotional lockdown,

The ambulance heads

South and rolls toward

Another mother’s disaster.


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