…the warmth of my father’s voice / as cozy as the rooms he’d heated / summoned me to breakfast, / my feet scurrying across
and I am thirteen again,/ back in your old green pickup, ripped / seats, empty coke bottle, your spittoon, sour / smell rising up in August heat.
“Dad, will you be home tonight?”/ And I just know Bismarck looked like this when he was four,/ in his PJs and miniature spiked helmet.
He is my father, a stranger with my teeth, / jagged bone-white peaks. Eight visible blades / of a smile; eight flames of the menorah.
Brand new baby, nursing/ from my full breast in// the crook of my elbow,/ half drinking, half dreaming, // me wondering if his dad/
In the dry season, drops drift down / every afternoon. / In the wet season, water pours from the sky / all day and all night / for weeks. // Or so my mother tells me.
Mary Beth Hines
Mother razes and wipes, razes and wipes, / While the old oak groans beneath her fingers, // Lodging a thin splinter into her palm when, / Ungloved, she smoothes a cross-grained edge.
Every year standing in the pink papered aisle, / pulling out card after flowery card / scripted sentiments such as You were always there / for me and I am so lucky / to have you for a best friend. / Each one goes back, cardstock dropped / with a smack against plastic casing.
a worn woman stands in my mirror / half-cocked smile working its way to the corners / my mother deserves a joyful daughter / my mother, the one in the mechanical bed / I remember a version of me / standing tall with my broad frame and big hands / (gifts from my dad) / ready to take on life’s traveling circus…
Cathy Ann Kodra
When I lean into my mother’s soft wool coat, / its closeted shape a new loneliness—she, no longer // seeking shelter from any cool draft—I breathe in / the lingering sense of time, of her hair, of Chanel No. 5.
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