20 April 2010

"You do not know what wars are going on down there where the spirit meets the bone." - Miller Williams.

You do not know
what to do
about your mother who
all your life
has been a sort of kept woman.
You do not know
except you do.
You get identical
you stay up late
you swear at your
child in the same
breath you tell him
you love him.
You search and
search in all the dumbest
places for love:
at the bar
driving past cars in traffic
(you look, you can't help it)
all the while
the love you seek
is right here
down at the sinew
the spirit and the bone
your own blood
your flesh and smile
burned like snapshots
on your brain.

11 April 2010

Mud Season

Vermont, April 2010 marks the anniversary
of my son’s birth. I spread his eight years on the table
as if he could be measured or given monetary
value. Someone has to write the fable

of his life and keep it like a promissory note.
Someone has to witness the new leaf
on the maple, tote
around the vision, tinged with the belief

that symbiosis is prone to etiolate
the mother. The boy, flippant as a magazine.
Of course I chose to germinate, to create.
But who tells you motherhood is like the metabolic catalyst Tetrazene?

These eight years my body feels the slake
of the turning of baby to boy to grown man. A solemn
memory, his body in mine, I take
with me in my cells. His life, this spring, rises like a column

from the mud: full of grit
and wet black Earth. I’m bound
to get stuck. May as well tie me to the spit
and roast me. Listen to the sound.