The little baby’s
gone. Who was not
here. She and I
started the same,
splitting in Mother,
but hers turned into
a singular existence
except for a name,
dream or the vague
gestures of meaning
sleep piles up
and washes away,
her image accretes
swells and withers,
locked in the living’s
cycle of ripening.
Mother tends toward
her, my not quite still
I keep tending
bud of their loss,
its bitter, narcotic root.
Nightshade. Pine Press 1995, 2000.
Bio: J. C. Todd’s poems and translations have appeared in the anthology Shade 2004,
and in American Poetry Review, The Paris Review, Prairie Schooner, Crab Orchard
Review and other journals. Pine Press published two chapbooks: Nightshade (1995) and Entering
Awards include a fellowship in poetry from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, two awards for poetry from
the Leeway Foundation, a Virginia Center for the Creative Arts international artist exchange fellowship to
the Schloss Wiepersdorf colony in Germany, a scholarship to The Baltic Centre for Writers and Translators
in Sweden, and a stipend from the Latvian Cultural Capital Foundation. Her poems have received five Pushcart
She is an associate editor for the poetry web magazine, The Drunken Boat
(www.thedrunkenboat.com), where she
has edited special features on contemporary Lithuanian and Latvian poetry in translation, and she was guest
poetry editor for the Summer, 2005 issue of The Bucks County Review, and co-editor of “Recurrence
in Another Tongue: Poets Translating Poets” that appeared in Frigate 4 in 2003.
A lecturer in Creative Writing and in the Writing for College program at Bryn Mawr College, she has an MFA
from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.