Skip to content

doors: a poem for mothers

June 16, 2008

My downstairs neighbor was giving me a key to his place
so I could come over and watch TV cuz my ex took his with him.

That’s Mother, said my neighbor.

I was looking at a young woman’s graduation picture,
his daughter i thought,
she resembled him–
fullness in her hair,
something about the eyes
the mixed smile
open to the world but cautious.

Behind the photo rested an urn.

Mother died on New Year’s Day,
he continued.

The young woman had crooked teeth,
a shining face, promise, dreams:
was she his daughter? niece?

My brother, he never did anything for her–
never visited her, he said.
He was the last one to see her–
he dropped her off after Christmas dinner–
she had a heart attack–
no one knew
til my sister went to check on her after Christmas dinner
when she didn’t answer the phone.
Mother was lying on the floor–
she was in the hospital a week–
she never…

Mother died on New Year’s–
she lasted that long–
but if she’d quit smoking after the first one…
well she quit last year but i guess it wasn’t…

I’m sorry, I said.

I got some coffee, ya want some? I’m gonna have some, he said.

No, that’s ok, I said.
I followed him down the hall
past a prosthesis–
a leg, a women’s leg
serving as a doorstop.

I wondered if it was Mother
holding the door open for him
for the girl in the picture
for me.

I published this poem as a broadside for ArtLife Limited Editions May 1997 copying an old family photograph in brown ink sepia like onto brown paper, then copying  the text on top in blue, finally numbering and signing it in an edition of 200. I gave 105 to ArtLife and kept the rest to sell. If you are interested in one, let me know!

for other stories, go to readwritepoem…for other poems, take a ride on the poetry train

Advertisements
7 Comments leave one →
  1. nathan1313 permalink
    June 16, 2008 9:19 am

    The image of the prosthesis — wonderful. It makes the poem into a door held open to the strangeness of encounters, the possibility of connections. This is a great read.

  2. June 16, 2008 9:52 am

    Precise and controlled. He has real character and the story unfolds with the mystery drawing the reader on. The poem has a real sense of place and a very subtle tone. Great work.

  3. June 16, 2008 5:21 pm

    Door within doors..all slowly opening up. Seems so plausible..

    she hoards trash

  4. June 16, 2008 6:39 pm

    What I like about your poems is that it is like I was thinking out loud!

  5. June 17, 2008 1:17 am

    Very nice. The subtle images a prefect for the subject.

  6. June 17, 2008 1:20 am

    Sorry, I was logged in under the wrong account for the last message.

  7. June 18, 2008 3:35 pm

    easy going read.. thoroughly enjoyable story told… setup was perfect.. focus on the photo and walking through his apartment.. and the leg, the best!…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

L.M. Archer

fine wine wordsmith

What's in that Bottle?

Better Living Through Better Wine!

ENOFYLZ

My humble wine blog

Jenny True

An excruciatingly personal food blog

foodwineclick

When food and wine click!

The Flavor of Grace

Helene Kremer's The Flavor of Grace

The Swirling Dervish

Wine Stories, Food Pairings, and Life Adventures

ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

Living La Vida Vino!

Dracaena Wines

Our Wines + Your Moments = Great Memories

L'OCCASION

a reason for wine

OkieWineGirl

A Wine Drinker Rambling about Wine

Drifting Through

Welcome to the inner workings of my mind

Sonya Huber

books, essays, etc.

THE GRAPE BELT

Drinking, Thinking, Cooking, Eating, Reading, Writing, Traveling, Talking ~ The Essentials of the Wine Life ~

The Weekly Sift

making sense of the news one week at a time

poor mexican gone

Yesterday's stories shed light on the way forward

ROCKIN RED BLOG

A Song in Every Glass

Cindy Ross

Author | Speaker

trailtraveler

Get your copy of Mile 445 today at Amazon.com!

www.KamalaThompson.com

"Where Business Meets Humanity"

Laura Grace Weldon

Free Range Learning, Creative Living, Gentle Encouragement, Big Questions, Poetry, Occasional Drollery

From Insults To Respect

A Guide To Anger And Conflict Resolution

Wes Chyrchel

Consultant · Early Stage Advisor · Project Advisor

Burners.Me: Me, Burners and The Man

Snarky. Cheeky. Grumpy. Dopey. Never Bashful.

Travel Wine Chick

Traveling Media Specialist · Writer · Consultant

L'esprit de Vin

A wine blog with food for thought...

The Wine Wankers

G’day, you’re at the best wine blog ever! We're all about wine; without the wankery.

Wine Verbiage

verbiage about wine & life

Small Epiphanies

A BLOG BY G.P. WAYNE

Paul reflects therapeutically

Thoughts about writing about thinking

the drunken cyclist

I have three passions: wine, cycling, travel, family, and math.

RIDGE VINEYARDS

Exceptional Single Vineyard Wines Since 1962

Winehiker Witiculture

Hike. Wine. Repeat! An exploration of life's vinoambulocentricities.

Gabe Feathers McGee

poetry, stories, puffnstuff

New Earth Heartbeat

Rest in the Heart

DEAR HUMAN

These letters are written to remind you just how much you matter, just how important you are, and just how beautiful the gift of life as a human is.

SAHMmelier

Stay at home mom, lover of wine

%d bloggers like this: