Mother, today near our yellow
garage, I leaned against old
instead of flicking paint with
my finger - I stared at our old
crying as if rain coated fur
coats – pears strewn about
the lawn – ants and worms
no one saves bruised fruit
or has time to cut away a
rotten spot – like Grandma.
Are you with Grandma?
You remember Grandma
took care of bruised fruit
tossed scraps from her second
floor window - of our city flat,
to feed blackbirds.
Those maple trees - you remember?
growing back home, in your town –
“Middle” – Mother said – always
said “Middle” not Middle Granville
a place near the border of Vermont -
Mother – you were proud of those
maple trees – crying like the pears
but into thin tin buckets – buckets
attached to mighty strong trunks -
tin buckets filled with maple syrup -
Mother, I know you can see me.
I bet all those trees with buckets
were glad to see you home
you climbed their limbs - you tied
tin to their trunks – you hid beneath
a Maple tree like a piece of scorned
Mother, you are not there - on the crest
gazing over rusted train tracks, tracks
twisting around raised stones – tracks
near your brother’s bar – you’re not
laying near trees crying into buckets
You see mother - now you can fly;
resting in peace – never your style
yet I do enjoy you listening when I
talk out loud – you see – I know you
are right here! You told me so. . .
Remember, “I'll haunt you till the
day you die.” Then laughed!
I believe you protect me…
Remember when you turned all the
fans on, and tears ran down our wall –
when pencils were tossed – pictures
fell – and now you’re moving glasses
and you hear me – you hear me when
I talk. My husband believes – since you
touched his face – I’m pleased –
Mother, you are watching me –
You see me, hear me, listen to all
the words – and answer in your own
way – we believe.
The day we placed a wreath at your
grave – knee deep in snow, we noticed
snow inside tin buckets –
Did you notice too?
We talked about the other side, you
told me about my birth – and all those
dead people coming back – I knew
everything by heart. So we talked as
I grew – and I believed – we talked
when you were dying, and I believed
You’re right here watching me as I
But why not touch my face?
Mother, you can fly over our pear
tree and watch scraps of food fed
to black birds, and touch faces in
our sleep – guide us in daylight –
So fly mother, fly near the border
where slate resembles slabs of
fudge – where rocks fall into streams
where maples do cry into buckets,
and your talking with all your friends
now resting on the crest.
Fly – Fly – guide us all with your
Nancy Duci Denofio
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