My mother says when she is anxious she finds a seam, 
finds stitches on her clothes, on furniture she’s near, always 
a verge has that feel, birch joints, wrinkles. It’s a relief
to think with the hands. Not with what years do, 
not with rings or someone else’s sadness. With the repair 
in a sheet her sister tore, breeze-fretted in the yard. 
Finds exactly where the hickory trees start themselves
against the yard. And shows me on the photograph 
which is only one of several, where though again 
they did not touch each other, standing on some shore, 
her mothers’ shadows touch each other. 
She shows it to me now to soothe me. As if soon 
it will be that blue in the air. Soon is what 
she thinks with. What she runs 
the edge of her thumb, her index finger over. 

Copyright © 2024 by Bradley Trumpfheller. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 5, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.