When Mother began to die, tubes suckled her blue
veins against the blue sky, and dreams pumped images
of ocean and desert and her brother’s back
whipped by alcohol’s tyrant. Soon, she would be
a platform of fear shipped beyond welted skin
and staccato sobs in the night. There comes a time
when nature heals deep memories through grace,
and forgiveness reflects an inner cast of holy
space like a monk who crafts holograms of truth
and shadowcasts of love in cavernous dwellings.
Knowing all of this, mother mined the night
to extract common jewels and children’s breath
for a fissured map of hard abuse but could
not dare spirit’s flight to rescue seventy-five
pounds of engineered flesh from pressure-wrapped zero.
There she was—zero-dead—mailed to the airy spaces
and all around we wailed as the children
smacked the ball to heaven. Mama dear, you folded
the web that even you—hand-skilled and eye-bright—
could not weave your way out of, and we blew hope
into your deaf ears to ward off the ecstasy of night.
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