Sentences for Mothers

Tell me how long you rusted underground, your five links remembering the iron chain you once completed, before a mother dug you out of the garden.

She dreamed you could nourish a soup.

Let me go, her son once yelled on the dark highway, holding the loose end of her chain in his own hands.

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Tell me, mothers of the four winds, to which direction blows your voice?

Where have I heard that sound before? Through old windows? A child’s train?

I blow my own wind through a whistle made of many women.

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Where is my other half, the clam shell wonders, half a world away from the Spanish beach my daughter walked 12 years ago.

O, Venus, throw her back to me!

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Behind the molded drywall of the old bathroom: a faded photo of a girl in a cotton collared dress and braids, discarded razor blades, the carcasses of birds who lost their way.

Never have I worn a dress hand sewn and pressed by my own mother.

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A Kenyan woman gave her daughter bracelets, hand-beaded in blue, black and pearlescent seeds, a prayer for her wrists as she crossed the Atlantic.

At what moment did the girl, now grown, decide to give them to me?

2015

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