Paradise Lost || E. Martin Pederson

I had a little porcelain pig I played with as a kid
not a piggy bank mind you just an ugly pink pig
it walks over here over there, hiding behind a pillow and coming out
I don’t know where it came from, maybe it was my mother’s.
When they tell us we can go back I’m looking for that pig in the ashes
on my knees if I have to (even if the pig’s all black now)
It wouldn’t burn, would it? might crack, I guess, in the heat
I hope that at least I can find if nothing else
of all that’s lost if I can find where my house was
by the Methodist church (the symbolic flame sign)
waiting in this motel with bad wifi —
one small memento: (or even not)
to keep close by as I build
a new life (I’m so tired) from scratch
somewhere else, that I never wanted.

E. Martin Pedersen, originally from San Francisco, has lived for over 40 years in eastern Sicily, where he taught English at the local university. His poetry appeared most recently in Adirondack Review, Better Than Starbucks, Brief Wilderness, Danse Macabre, Thirteen Myna Birds. He has published two collections of haiku, Bitter Pills and Smart Pills, and a chapbook, Exile’s Choice, just out from Kelsay Books. A full collection, Method & Madness, is forthcoming from Odyssey Press.

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