for Amy on Mother’s Day 2003


I was the last child–not favored
for that, though much loved, my mother
telling me even as an old woman
to always look forward, refusing the dawn
as nature’s excuse for decisions
we must make on our own, every day,
on how beauty will emerge from darkness,
as my mother’s shone out of the folds
of her face like first light foretold
through peaks that at once
propped up the sky and curved
between it and the earth, a range
just accommodating time.



I was a later child
and did not mean to be late
but was sometimes, often, enough
so that I could see my mother’s
face in darkness waiting for me,
as though she needed an excuse to roam
the quieted house and make her
night-time waterings and feedings
of the plants and her projects,
as though I was out until dawn
in search of some dangerous beauty
and not behind Cabot’s talking until
just after closing, as though I was not
glad of her semi-stern barrier
between the night and bed
and four semi-sweet chips
measured out for not even telling
everything she was dying to know.



I was the little girl
next to Mommy and Daddy’s room
and before that the bath and
the book and talking to G-d
and then there was nothing left
but getting in bed and the light
going off, all the shapes and animals
after she said “I love you”
staying there on the walls, just me
breathing and hearing me thinking
about tomorrow, how it is
I am here now and I wake up
next to Mommy and the light
is on her asleep, the day is here.


Warmth, noise: again
Full; OK
Them/outside–colors, having…
Quiet, full, tight Her/me…
(A dream of everything.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *