New Year’s Eve 2020                                                              by Amy Sage Webb-Baza 

I remember how   
in the jittery early   
stages of grief   
I panicked   
about how   
to pass time.   
I would give myself a goal   
to read to the end of the   
sentence. I landed on each   
task like a beach. Washing   
the coffee pot would take   
a few minutes if I dried it  
too. My hands knew   
what to do. I learned   
I could burn an hour   
walking four miles, and   
I came to know how long   
each route and road around   
the house would buy me, time   
when I had no reason to think   
of anything but putting one   
foot in front of the other.  
Now on the final night   
of a year from which   
it seems impossible   
to find a way forward  
I remind myself   
of this, how we must   
continually wake to mourning   
and spend the small change   
of panic in the tasks we find,   
how they add up over time.   
To everyone I love I say   
Meet me there in the space   
where we are not broken, only   
paused, snagged on the cold   
wire of terror. Recovery is   
a motion we know, a path   
we make by walking.  

Amy Sage Webb-Baza is Professor of English and Director of the Creative Writing Program at Emporia State University, where she was named Roe R. Cross Distinguished Professor and directs the Donald Reichardt Center for Publishing and Literary Arts. She is managing editor for Bluestem Press and Flint Hills Review. She publishes fiction, poetry, and nonfiction, and is author of Your Own Life: Kansas Stories (Woodley Press, 2012).  

Editor-in-Chief Laura Lee Washburn is the Director of Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and the author of This Good Warm Place: 10th Anniversary Expanded Edition (March Street) and Watching the Contortionists (Palanquin Chapbook Prize).  Her poetry has appeared in such journals asTheNewVerse.News, Carolina Quarterly, Ninth Letter, The Sun, and Valparaiso Review.  Harbor Review’s microchap prize is named in her honor.  

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