McGookey's work is exquisite--each image exact, overflowing with emotion that is otherwise gently contained, quiet. As the speaker in these poems works through grief at her mother's death, the examination of the ordinary echoes the loss she feels, the ways she is trying to relearn the world that has been transformed by absence. The understated quality of these poems gives them a haunting power--one that stays with a reader long after the book is finished. The last poem in the chapbook ends:
"When the birds return to the lake in spring, when the single red and yellow tulip blooms again by the water's edge, we like to saythis is your doing. Of course you were not perfect. But I was used to you."
Those last words just rock me when I read them because they are true--in the end we love the people we love because we are used to them, they are familiar, they are ours and we are theirs. What a simple, brave way to end a book about loss, mothering, being a daughter.
This is a gorgeous book. Please buy it.