A Short Supply of Viability
by Annette Gagliardi
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “compassion fatigue” as the physical and mental exhaustion and emotional withdrawal experienced by those who care for sick or traumatized people over an extended period of time. Annette Gagliardi’s poetry offers compassion for the compassionate. Her poems are informed by the shift of comfort that occurs with caregivers, from the decision to provide care, to the fatigue and grace of caring for others, then to the grief and relief of saying goodbye. A Short Supply of Viability provides insight, thoughtful consideration of issues, glimpses of those being cared for, and relief from grief. It is a must read and a welcoming balm for anyone faced with becoming a caregiver, whether it be in a professional capacity or taking care of a loved one whose health is declining.
About the Author
Annette Gagliardi is a Minnesota writer, author most recently of Proper Poems for Ladies…and a few naughty ones, too! She is a contributor and co-editor of Upon Waking. 58 Voices Speaking Out from the Shadow of Abuse, 2019. Annette has poetry published in Motherwell, Wisconsin Review, American Diversity Report, Origami Poems Project, Amethyst Review, Door IS A Jar, Trouble Among the Stars, Poetry Quarterly, Sylvia Magazine, and many other online and in-print magazines.
Find more of her work at https://annette-gagliardi.com/
Early Praise for A Short Supply of Viability:
In Annette Gagliardi’s first collection of poetry, she squarely confronts universal aspects of the human condition. Joy, pain, regret, failing health, the passing of loved ones, and more, are addressed in accessible, down-to-earth detail that doesn’t retreat from heartfelt emotion. Her earnest voice is at times incisive, sometimes somber, and at other times tender, as she takes the reader on a lifelong journey woven with a thread of spiritual hope for “viability”.
—Alan Perry, author of Clerk of the Dead
Annette Gagliardi’s A Short Supply of Viability takes an unflinching look at life and the hard facts of what it means to care for one who is slowly losing touch with life. These poems deftly reach for their subjects in the language of image and metaphor giving way to a flowering darkness/ along with hours lost down the drain of the day. Gagliardi asks us to not only to attend to what slips away from us in the daily, but to also behold these losses as fragments of song.
—Juliet Patterson, author of Threnody and The Truant Lover
Annette Gagliardi’s dazzling poetry collection, A Short Supply of Viability, confronts mortality—our decline, our need for care, our love for life. Her preface defines viability as the ability to work, to survive, to live, to flourish, variations that thematically resound in her elegiac work, touching on the spiritual, the natural, the grief and consolation that accompany our journey on this earth. She mourns lost youth, lost parents even as she buoys our spirits, reminding us, as William Cullen Bryant does, to live: If food is what you want, eat now (“The Sea Shifts”). Her poems thrum with rich images of the natural world: Small glimpses of who you/ used to be emerge—recede/ like dolphins in the sea (“Grief in the Sail”) or the diminishing light/ pinpricks that bright vanishing/ into the landscape of stunned darkness (“Mirage”). Ultimately, she embraces death as a lover, part of the natural order, reminding us in her beautiful poems that vita brevis est.
—Donna Isaac, author of Persistence of Vision; Footfalls; Holy Comforter; and Tommy
In her debut collection, Annette Gagliardi does not shy away from the difficult subject. Quite the contrary. The poems in A Short Supply of Viability take on death, dying, memory loss, and caregiving in language that is straightforward and humble in the face of the journey it strives to express. Witnessing decline and loss of loved ones, tending to their daily needs and comforts, occupy the spaces these poems sketch. They ask, How do we carry on . . .? Then, in answer to their own question, they describe “Uses for Ashes,” the transformation of firewood begetting soap, mulch bursting into hydrangeas’ truer, bluer blooms. The speaker in these poems struggles in the short supply of the title. Nevertheless, there is/at the top, a door/that opens onto a snowy field.
—Morgan Grayce Willow, author of Dodge & Scramble