Janice D. Soderling


I’ve Always Loved to Travel

Death be nimble.
Death be quick.
Come before
I’ve lost my shtick.

Death be canny.
Death be cool.
Don’t wait until
I’ve lapsed to fool.

Death be clever,
should you find
an empty husk,
unmarbled mind.

When I blather,
then you’ll know
I’m packed and ready.
Geared to go.

The Journey

Consider now, the frantic surge of sperm,
each rushing blindly, lacking aper├žu.
How one, a little quicker than the rest,
careens into the other half of you.

And so begins a journey hastening on,
though doubling back to find a squatter site,
mooring a while within your mother’s womb,
bobbing in a cramped and watery night.

Then doubling further back: Pop! Out you pop,
adrift and squalling, ignorant of where.
And why this hurtful light and cold? But soon
you take your first step on the wobbly stair.

You swiftly climb until the quick descent
into a night called by another name,
into another cramped and darkened trough.
That’s it. That was your life. Finis. Quitclaim.

“I’ve Always Loved to Travel” and “The Journey” appear in Soderling’s collection Green Ivy Grows Over Their Graves, Tra La (2020)

Janice D. Soderling is a previous contributor to Light. Her three chapbooks released 2020 are available at Barnes and Noble and all other online bookstores: Rooms & Closets, War: Make that City Desolate, Green Ivy Grows Over Their Graves, Tra La.