Thursday, February 24, 2011
for my mother
You broke my heart, you said.
And then you died
leaving the two raw pieces in my lap,
like weeping pomegranate.
Because I tasted the seeds and knew
the underworld? Because your meadows
couldn’t hold me, and beyond the fence
I found a wilderness more tempting
than you – virtuous as a nun –
could comprehend? Was I to blame?
You loved the idea of my life: dinners for eight,
bright kids, bright flowers, filling your dreams
of domesticity. Was it wrong
to hide frayed edges as they pulled apart?
Only daughter of a lonely mother
I was doomed to disappoint
as every seed you planted escaped
your nurturing to flaunt
its own wild weedy dance.
Look, the marsh marigolds we treasured
have disappeared this spring
gobbled by deer, overrun by reed canary grass
but still the redwing blackbird sings.