Defeat Is Inevitable

“In the end, I suppose, defeat is inevitable, / the closing of something once delicately propped / open,” writes Dawn Lundy Martin in her poem “From Which the Thing Is Made,” which appears in her collection Instructions for the Lovers, out today from Nightboat. With each line of the poem, Martin dives deeper into the connection between the narrator and their mother, and how her absence is still felt in the body of the narrator. “Even I can’t let go, can’t sift her being (that part / of her that’s her) from my hands,” writes Martin. This week, start a poem with Martin’s first line: “In the end, I suppose, defeat is inevitable…” What memories and imagery come to mind when you think of defeat or of something closing?