Thursday, March 20, 2014

Poem: Cameo


I am uphill from the picnic,
watching the clan, when my
late mother hands me a cupcake.

It’s good to see you, Mom,
but shouldn’t we tell the others?

She presses a chih to the
side of her cheek, a
puff of steam.

Look at them, they’re doing so
well, I wouldn’t want to
make a fuss.

But I don’t get how this
happened. Why aren’t you dead?

I don’t understand it myself.
But it’s sure nice to see everyone.

I don’t know. I feel sort of guilty.

She traces a hand on the
side of my temple.

I think you were born thirty years old.

A dog barks.

Our labrador sits on his rug
like a Sphinx, his gaze fixed on
the door. At the end of an hour,
my landlady’s absence has
pushed his whining into birdsong.

From the collection Fields of Satchmo
Photo by MJV

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