Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Come to Dust

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I wipe the dust that's settled on her face,
A pencil sketch that hangs beneath a light.
She's there. While she's away I mind her place,

And when I wash a cup or lift the lace
Above the kitchen sink, she's in my sight,
So I wipe the dust that settles on her face,

Not as I used to when I had to chase
Her down with a spit-wet hankie. Full of fight!
It's over now--there, there. Here, in her place,

Her blue-eyed gaze falls onto me like grace,
Fresh as rain on glass; but come tonight
I'll see the dust resettled on her face.

So I give a rub, breathe on this glassed-in trace
Of her, and my breath blows her hair flame-bright.
What if she stays there in that foreign place

While I wield damp rags, trying to outpace
The constant drift of dust, but never quite?
I'll settle down like dust upon her face.
She's there, and dust holds both of us in place.


Cally Conan-Davies is an Australian poet who took to the road to live in a van after her only, dearly beloved daughter left home to study and work in the northern hemisphere. While traveling, she works as a teacher and writer. Her poems have appeared online at
The Able Muse, Shot Glass Journal, The Flea, and The Lavender Review. Print venues containing her work include The Raintown Review and The Able Muse Anthology.


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