This week, we are proud to present a new poem by Rebecca Morgan Frank. Frank is the author of The Spokes of Venus (Carnegie Mellon UP 2016) and Little Murders Everywhere (Salmon 2012). She was a finalist for the 2013 Kate Tufts Discovery Award, and her poems have appeared such places as Ploughshares, Guernica, New England Review, 32 Poems, and the Harvard Review. She received the Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola for her next manuscript in progress. Co-founder and editor of the online literary magazine Memorious, she is the Jacob Ziskind Poet in Residence at Brandeis University.
When I submitted this poem to the Missouri Review, my mother was still alive. It seems fitting that she would leave me with this parting gift, a poem that was accepted a few weeks after her death. For the backstory of the poem is that when I was a girl, my mother was regularly driving me north to pursue my first love in the arts, ballet, at a performing arts boarding school and then a ballet company school. Through her own work in the arts, and each time she pressed the gas over a bridge, or along I95 N, my mother demonstrated what it was to keep moving forward even when gripped by everyday fears. What better lesson could a writer learn?