Apr/May 2016 Poetry Special Feature


by Barbara De Franceschi

Image courtesy of the British Library Photostream


She mentions her wedding.
My eyes trace the age spots on her face—
it's an anxious medley on show today.
She breathes in forked winds,
I wait for the hurricane to pass.
Biscuit crumbs fall into her lap,
milk coagulates in a cold cup of tea,
an artificial rose flowers in vase
on a tray sprinkled with sugar spills.
She fingers white lace gloves,
perpetual monuments of duchess satin
and a winter churchyard
where she empties the compartments
of rational thought.
My heart unlatches itself.
A dragonfly flits against the window,
there is a spider corpse on the sill,
I hinge on the drone of a ceiling fan,
on voices bleeding from the corridor.

This morning as I filled lunch boxes for my children
I thought about this visit.
Who would I find today?
Not my mother/
she ended a long time ago.


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