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If So

(This poem is two ragged, diminished “sonnets” in shock to find my life timed to end along with my world.)

If what seems to be so

is so, what

seams to be sewed

all sewed up

then it matters

not what we do

indeed what is done

is indelibly done

and in deeds undone

we are too deep

and finding them too

late to do

so we are done



how do we live

knowing we won’t pass

long lives along

and what shall we give

knowing we’ve given


all that matters

so there’s nothing

and no one

left to give

any way

to be for


“If So” first appeared in Silkworm 10 (2017) and is the penultimate poem in Maven Reaches Mars in the section for responses to the “end of the world I have known, arrival at a future I had feared, hope for solutions no one has thought of yet, astounded to find my own personal demise coinciding with the arc of a worldwide extinction.”

About the Author

Jane McPhetres Johnson lives in Amherst MA.

Born in Colorado, enlightened in the ‘60s and ‘70s, landed in Wyoming with two sons, one born while commuting to Vermont’s Goddard College MFA––during graduation/commencement week. Recent poems in Silkworm, Ekphrastic Review, and Song between the Stars.

Read more in Jane’s book, Maven Reaches Mars: Home Poems and Space Probes in Four Fascicles (Off the Common Books, Amherst MA. 2020).

Other publications, exhibits, and readings include: Microbursts: Anthology by Quabbin Writers Salon (Picaflor Press 2017), Compass Roads (edited by Jane Yolen, Straw Dog Writers Guild 2018), and Not My President: Anthology of Dissent (ThoughtCrime Press 2017), Dragon’s Egg in Mystic CT, Earth Day exhibit in Hadley MA, Forbes Library “Home” show, Northampton MA.


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