The Mannequin Leaves the Hospital for the Last Time Happy

Angela Voras-Hills

Because time’s up—it’s been 48 hours, 
                             and who wants to sleep longer than that 
              in a bed they’ve bled in? 

Rainfall showerhead less impressive, the mannequin 
                              sits at the bed’s edge, coffee in one hand, daughter’s 
              hand tugging the other. The mannequin

hasn’t started crying yet, can’t fully grasp
                             what happens next—the gaping and chapping, 
               yes, but not the huge imbalance of love—

like a photographer unable to capture 
                            the whole of a landscape: focusing on
              the mountain, the lake, the trees...

never doing justice to the colors, unable to fit it 
                           all in one frame. Her husband leans in the doorway
              with the car seat: new baby bundled,

strapped in. The weight of everything 
                            she’s about to leave plunges like an anchor
              to her feet. Cold pizza in the trash, 

the last first-bath, the palpable smell of blood, bleach,
                               baby soap. The car is running, her hair is wet, 
              everyone she loves is alive.



Angela Voras-Hills’s first collection of poems, Louder Birds (Pleiades 2020), was awarded the Lena-Miles Wever Todd Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in Kenyon Review Online, Prairie Schooner, and New Ohio Review, among other journals and anthologies. She has received support from The Sustainable Arts Foundation, Key West Literary Seminar, and Writers’ Room of Boston. She lives with her family in Milwaukee, where she is a PhD student at the University of Wisconsin.