In Mother’s Garden

Quietly now a mouse in the garden
that has come to mourn with me
or bite at every insect twisting
in this heat as you lie close & uncaring
in the army of the common housefly.
Let it be known that in death
you harrowed in love & in so doing
traded your ears for blackened ones,
your crown the shade of a new moon.
Let this spell be known as the fortune
of a missing tortoise, brutal limbs
& wounds of multiples. Then, to soften
alongside the watermelon rinds
on this blighted day, your body
presently absent including the mouse
I have startled into darkness. Who will
help me love the castor bean tree now?
Which of these plants will speak for you?

Ignore me while I weave between rows,
swatting at the light I have chased into
the corner of your makeshift shed still full
of your fortune, the abundant secret
of mouse droppings. Meanwhile, stay
dressed—help me be decent. Come away
from dreams, far from streets—quick,
arise in one piece! There is shade.
Even the sun could not spoil you.
 

Related Poems

Song of the Cluster Bomblet

I am a seed
Of the tree of knowledge.

I arrived here
In mother’s steel womb—

A snug, dark pod—
With my hundred siblings.

On impact, her womb opened
And we scattered hundreds of yards.

I am a blue ridged-winged ball,
Created to appeal

To any child’s senses
Of beauty and curiosity.

When a child finds me,
Buried among roots of berries

Or wild flowers,
And cradles me

In her warm hands,
My heart melts.