A Short Supply of Viability
by Annette Gagliardi
Scheduled Release Date: July 15, 2022
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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.
“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