Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Lullaby

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I.
I have saved this for you--

each morning I heap new--
treasure on its peak--

each night an astral body sheds--
its ill; our sun.

Look, see,
the center is rot--

slow stew churns--
my treasure I heap still--I stole--
a star stretching arm from hip.

Now the earth's ill
smells of your night sweats.

And look here, there is still a top middle and--
underneath--clay awaiting a face, sand--

strung seaside in midtide--
their moats drowning their doors.

Your fingers plow--
offer a parapet to mine--

mine, cradle verge--whole
your neck, finger steps from lobe, at the crest

the descent to sinew and shoulder.
Don't turn your head.

II.
I watched your five years pluck dancing, while invisible mansion
ballrooms

sprawled, surviving summer's hives

when daughter you wore my eyes for a split,

outlaw-loose-with-treasure, second. surrounding:

wet lipped fog, an installation in our small town; the barren beige;
your sticky youth,

joining our hands--famine impressing

feast. paid our ransom to raven working,
winter crows addressing their lunch. our wonder

inches deep--submerged in cut, sullen hay--
you tickled the last green clover--a boy trapped in
rapunzel's watchtower, you said.

you, eschewing his hard luck with your roadside
know-how--you and your knack to put good
on its heels.

then we stood on a bridge, three
quarters past your lunch due,
and jumped----


Mary-Catherine Jones’ poems have appeared in Poetry International, elimae, Tygerburning Literary Journal, Scapegoat Review, and the Naugatuck River Review. She is the program director for the Datum:Earth Reading Series in Keene, New Hampshire. She, her husband, and two “cherubians” moved to New Hampshire from Manhattan to live and garden on a river called the Contoocook. She still frequents New York City as a freelance creative director/copywriter, and seeker of a good cappuccino.


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