Adoption Update: Weight for Height Negative Z-Score (Girl Chart—Two Years Old)

You=negative 2 z-score:
the pink graphed line
             a dying downward swoop.
Wasting: Can you
fit into a coat pocket?
Here the lake pounds questions
into the sand,
             and asking again.
Your father and I run between field
and lake, scream.
Insects enter our throats.
Stunting: Do the tiny doors
of yourself
remain unopened?
Undernourished: Are you a baby bird,
             mouth waiting? Are you
ill—stomach twisted,
             insides scribbled?
Forgive us
             our impotence.
At night, the cabin pops
and cracks against
the wind’s push,
             a sound like a stranger
We wake together,
             into the dark.
Our telephones
             offer little light.

Front page image by Kevin Dooley.

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Paige Riehl

About the Author

Paige Riehl is the author of Blood Ties, a poetry chapbook published by Finishing Line Press fall 2014. Her poetry has appeared in Meridian, South Dakota Review, Nimrod International Journal, and more. She won the 2012-2013 Loft Mentor Series in Poetry and the 2011 Literal Latte Prize for Poetry. She is the assistant poetry editor for Midway Journal and teaches literature and writing at Anoka-Ramsey Community College, where she is also the chair of the Two Rivers Reading Series.
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