Andrea Potos's poem, "Each Self" won the James Hearst Poetry Prize in 2004. Her poem is featured in issue 289.2, Spring 2004.
Notes from the author: As my daughter is now on the verge of leaving for college far away from home, I reflect again on what she inspired in me when I wrote this poem years ago: all the invisible, infinitesimal, yet totally inescapable changes that propel us forward, willingly or not, into new lives.
she is happy to declare, comparing it to evening
and afternoon. We talk of how the Earth turns away
from the sun each night,
a motion so encompassing,
our bodies cannot know it.
I don't tell her how the child
part of me still disbelieves it - that this globe
actually spins while we breathe, while my daughter
changes invisibly before my eyes,
her infant body submerged inside her
with her toddler waddle and her four-year-old skip,
each swallowed within the other
like the nesting dolls she keeps
on her new desk, each self
perfectly preserved, forsaken
for the one that must come after.
Andrea Potos is the author of six poetry collections, including An Ink Like Early Twilight (Salmon Poetry, 2015), We Lit the Lamps Ourselves (Salmon Poetry, 2012), and Yaya's Cloth (Iris Press, 2007). She has twice been the recipient of an Outstanding Achievement Award in Poetry from the Wisconsin Library Association, and her works appear widely in print and online. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her daughter, her husband, and her cockapoo Penny.
Illustration by Junyoung Kim. She is an illustrator, cartoonist, and printmaker based in New York. She graduated from the School of Visual Arts with a BFA in illustration. Her works are featured in various magazines including the Visual Opinion, GrowerTalk, and Green Profit magazine.