Jane Wong

The Good Work

I left the light on in the kitchen again.
A spider burned in the bulb. It was a morning
owl who joined me in the song of its burning.

To raise children with good legs and arms.
Isn’t this all we want? I worry about my daughter.
To be a good man. To be good?

Across the street, a family clears logs from their front yard.
Cedar smoke fills the air. My breath splinters, I hold
a rest note too long. Arrested, always. The sky

is an ice pattern I could break open. I could
have been a mathematician. I could have loved my daughter.
Saddle up to me, I’d say. Let this horse do the work.

Jane Wong holds an MFA from the Iowa Writer's Workshop and has received scholarships and fellowships from the U.S. Fulbright Program, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in CutBank, ZYZZYVA, Mid-American Review, and others. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Washington.