Morgan Blair
An excerpt from "Mother"

There you are, in a grey room,
shiny as dollars, and she is out
the window, and the sky
is the color of old tires, piled up.
You tick, you tock, peeking at her
from the windowsill, afraid
she will rush up the side of the wall
and embrace you with her lips.
Her hair sees you.
It is slidy as eels
and crawls on the carpet,
trying to grab your knees.
All you did was spit out the window
and up she sprung, her old bones whistling.
Don't be a coward, she is not flesh.
Push your fingers into her.
Does she bruise?
Where is the swelling? Don't whine and cry
and invent someone with heavy arms
and big feet to come along and carry you off
beyond the gate, past the rows
of weeds with little claw faces.
That is her trick;
she is the bridegroom, gathering.
She shits lace, doilies, the little flowers
on tea cups, the stitching on quilts.
Who pays for it? Whose arteries and veins?
Whose thighs broken open?
There is no place to hide nor
any reason to. You don't need
a magic cat or bean or idiot youngest
miller's son to walk down the drainpipe
and into her mouth. Invite her
in. Moonlight, like wedges of lemon,
simmers on the stove. She is maggot
and leech, a real talker.
This is the best part: wait.
She has the mind of a coloring book.
There is no candle of laughter
in her heart
to save her. She is goose
and sailor. The last sky she will ever see
is the pot lid closed above her.

© 1995 by Morgan Blair

Morgan Blair (a.k.a. Faye Kicknosway) lives and teaches in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her books of poetry include All These Voices (Coffee House Press).